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KATHARINE E» COMAH 



HISTORY AND ADVENTURE 



Jxom C{jamkrs'5 JfUgogitorg mxb Pisallang 




LONDON 

W. AND R. CHAMBERS 47 PATERNOSTER ROW 

AND HIGH STREET EDINBURGH 

1855 



Edinburgh : 
Printed by W. and R. Chambers. 



<f n t * it t «. 



THE STRUGGLE IN THE CAUCASUS. 

THE PILGRIM FATHERS. 

THE WAR IX ALGERIA. - 

THE RETREAT OF THE TEN THOUSAND. 

THE WAR IN CAFFRARIA. 

THE TRIAL OF CHARLES I. 

MONTENEGRO AND THE MONTENEGRINS. 

HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

LIBERIA. ^^ 

CHRISTIAN SLAVERY IN BARBARY. 

HISTORY OF THE SLAVE TRADE. 

THE INSURRECTIONS IN LYONS. 

THE LIFE OF A SAILOR BOY. 

HISTORY OF POLAND. 

SHIPWRECK OF THE MEDUSA. 



CHAMBERS'S 

REPOSITORY. 



THE STRUGGLE IN THE CAUCASUS. 




the 
and 
the 
earliest times, invested the Caucasian 
mountain-range with a certain de- 
gree of mystery and interest ; but 
since 1829, when the Russian em- 
peror, arrested in his victorious 
march upon Constantinople by the 
menacing tone and attitude of the 
Western powers, stipulated, by a clause 
in the treaty of Adrianople, that the Sub- 
lime Porte should cede to Russia the whole 
of the Caucasian territory, over which 
the sultan still claimed or exercised a 
III doubtful sovereignty, and the czar com- 
menced the perilous and gigantic task of 
converting- the almost nominal authority 
thus transferred into a real and solid 
despotism, those picturesque and romantic 
regions have assumed a high degree 
of importance in the domain of Euro- 
pean politics ; and the possible results 
of the desperate conflict so long main- 
tained there, have been made the theme of conjectures, visions, 
lso.9. 1 



THE STRUGGLE IN TIIE CAUCASUS. 

theories, fears, scarcely less wild and fantastical than the dreams 
of the old paganism. According' to ancient myths, the loftiest 
of the snow and cloud-crowned mountains of the Caucasus — 
which, reaching* to Olympus, connected earth with heaven — 
was that whereon Prometheus, for stealing" fire from the chariot 
of the sun, lay hound and tortured, till released by Hercules : 
from without their cavernous and frightful depths that Jason, 
with the help of the Colchian enchantress, bore off the Golden 
Fleece. These classical localities, moreover, Herodotus asserts, 
were peopled by motley races of barbarians, numbering, Strabo 
adds, from 70 to 300 nations — a latitude of enumeration, by 
the way, which scarcely impresses one with a very high respect 
in this particular instance for the authority of that eminent 
traveller and geographer. The same writer assures us, that gold 
was so plentiful in the torrents of the Caucasus that it -was 
intercepted and collected by means of extended sheep -skins 
— an intelligible, if somewhat common-place version of the story 
of Jason and his Golden Fleece. Emerging into clearer day, we 
find that it was through the great Caucasian Pass of Dariel (Porta 
Caucasia) that Cimmerians and Scythians marched to desolate 
Asia Minor; by the Eastern or Caspian Way {Via Caspia), the 
tumultuous hosts of Huns swept to their attacks upon the Persian 
and Roman Empires. This variegated mass of fact and fiction 
has, it is quite evident, influenced the imagination and coloured 
the dreams of modem prophets and alarmists. For Prometheus 
writhing beneath the pitiless decree of Jupiter, we have civilisation 
(Circassian) fiercely, but vainly, struggling in the stifling embrace 
of the Russian Colossus, and calling piteously for help upon the 
English Hercules. Should that help be accorded, the fable of the 
Golden Fleece will be converted into a magnificent fact, by the 
rich commerce that must immediately spring up between the 
wealthy mountaineers of Caucasia and the teeming industries of 
Great Britain. But if the sea-Hercules, lulled in the vain dreams 
of a false security, refuses to perform, or too long neglects the 
solemn duty to which he is thus imperatively summoned — then, 
indeed, the desolating onrush of the Cimmerian, Scythian, and 
Hunnish hosts will be" echoed in our own day by the tramp of the 
countless battalions of the czar. In one respect only, the travelled 
soothsayers of the present day entirely differ from the ancients : 
the inhabitants of the Caucasus are not barbarians. So far from 
being so, they are, on the contrary, a highly-civilised people ; and, 
in the higher and nobler attributes of humanity— notwithstanding 
certain peculiarities which, at first view, may appear a little 
startling to unaccustomed eyes — present examples worthy of 
respectful imitation by the boasted nations of the West ! 

That we may obtain a sufficiently distinct view of the pictu- 
resque and majestic theatre in which the bold deeds we are about 
to narrate have been performed, let us for a few moments fancy 
ourselves standing* with our faces towards, the north, upon the 
2 



THE STRUGGLE IN THE CAUCASUS. 

summit of Mount Ararat, in Armenia, about fifty miles south 
of the Caucasian territory, which, intersected by its magnificent 
mountain-range, will then he rigiit before us, bounded on this, the 
southern side, by the ancient kingdom of Georgia, now a province 
of Russia ; on the east, by the Caspian Sea, whose tideless waters 
lave the north of Persia ; on the west, by the Euxine or Bad Black 
Sea (fanar gara denez) of the Turks, stretching* northward to the 
Crimea and the Sea of Azov ; and on the north itself, by the 
southern provinces of Russia Proper, in one of which the white 
stone obelisk erected by General Prestman, an English officer in 
the Russian service, over the grave of Howard the philanthropist, 
modestly uprears itself. The mountain-rang-e, we perceive, 
commences by Anapa, a Russian settlement on the shore of 
the Black Sea, nearly opposite the Crimea, and in the north- 
west corner of the vast tract of territory thus shut in by 
Russia Proper, the Caspian and Black Seas, and Georgia, and the 
huge chain extends hitherward in a direction slanting* towards 
the south of the Caspian on our right, leaving a gradually 
increasing margin between it and the Black Sea. At about mid- 
way, the range turns abruptly towards the east for some distance ; 
then resumes and continues its south-easterly direction, till its 
termination at Cape Asheran, on the south-west shore of the 
Caspian. The length of this sinuous cordillera, from its north- 
western point, in 44° 40' north latitude and 37° 10' east longitude, 
to the south-eastern limit, in 40° 30' of north latitude and 50° 20' 
east longitude, is estimated at 700 miles, and varies in breadth 
from 70 to 120 miles ; an area of about 56,000 square miles, or 
pretty nearly the extent of England and Wales. The southern 
provinces of Russia Proper are separated from the Caucasian 
territory by the lower branch of the Kuban River, which, rising 
from near the centre of the mountains, flows in a northerly 
direction, till about the parallel of 44° north latitude, where it 
takes a direct westerly course, and reaches the Black Sea in the 
vicinity of Anapa, enclosing from its source to its outflow the 
plains of Abasia, and the Great and Little Kabardahs. The Terek 
breaks out of the mountains on the same side, but considerably to 
the south-east of the Kuban, and flows in a north-easterly direction 
towards the Caspian, forming* with that sea and the south-eastern 
chain an irregular triangle, comprising the steppes or plains of 
Daghistan, and the country of the Tchetchentzes, separated from 
each other by the rapid Koisu, which takes its rise in the 
Lesghian or eastern part of the chain, and issues also in the 
Caspian. This roughly-drawn outline encircles a country of the 
most varied grandeur and beauty. The plains on the north of the 
chain enclosed by the fort-dotted Kuban and Terek, are for the most 
part — the Kabardahs especially — of luxuriant fertility, carpeted 
with richest verdure, and strewed with woods and groves of level 
trees, odorous with the perfume of the myrtle and the rose, and 
vocal with the songs of innumerable nightingales. Georgia here 

3 



THE STRUGGLE IX THE CAUCASUS. 




THE STRUGGLE IN THE CAUCASUS. 

in the south is of nearly equal beauty and fruitfulness ; and the 
itrip of gradually narrowing 1 land bordering- the Black Sea from 
MingTelia — adjoining* Georgia on the north-west — to Anapa, 
entfl a charming aspect of oak-clad eminences, park-like pas- 
tures, and lofty trees festooned with gig-antic vines. From this 
gorgeous parterre, the giant Alps shoot upwards to the heavens; 
;md, monarch of them all, Elburz, at about the northern centre 
of the range, uplifts his crown of snow to the prodigious height of 
17,700 feet above the Black Sea level— 2000 feet higher than 
(Mont Blanc! This name of Elburz, though usually confined to 
the loftiest of the Caucasian mountains, lia.s, strictly speaking, a 
much wider application; meaning, as it does, all mountains above 
the line of eternal snow — 10,500 feet. The native appellation is 
Mount Kav — the Mountain of the Blessed; or, more frequently, 
Djen Padischah — the King of Spirits; and superstitions in 
connection both with it and the Alquinvari Peak — the Kasbek, 
the next in altitude to the Elburz — are, as might be expected, rife 
throughout the Caucasus. According to one of these traditions, 
the guardian angels that keep eternal watch upon the sky-reaching 
summits of these mountains, will never permit them to be profaned 
by mortal footsteps — a belief, however, that has lately been irre- 
trievably damaged by the successful ascent of the Kasbek by a 
Polish doctor of the name of Kalenati. Few of the mountains 
north-west of the Elburz reach the line of perpetual snow ; and 
they gradually diminish in height as they approach the shore of 
the Black Sea at Anapa, where they rise boldly uji to the eleva- 
tion of about 120 feet only. In the south-eastern range, on the 
contrary, the glittering pinnacles soar far above the snow-line, 
till past the Lesghian portion of the chain, in which Chagh Dagh, 
another sacred mountain, attains a height approaching that of the 
Kasbek, which is lo,f>00 feet. Near the end of the south-eastern 
range, is the Holy Land of the Ghebers, or Fire-worshippers. 
The monastery of Mesch-Gah — Mother of Fire — tenanted by a 
few devotees of this faith, and sentinelled by pillars of the 
inexhaustible flame, which at the slightest puncture issues from 
the naphtha -teeming soil, still exists there. This was once the 
Ateyshah, or sacred shrine — the Mecca of the worshippers of fire 
— but mosques have long- since usurped the places ot the flame- 
temples, and nowhere, perhaps, in Caucasia has the creed of Islam 
taken a firmer and deeper root than in the burning plains of Baku. 
The two passes or ' gates ' which traverse the cordillera of the 
Caucasus, are those previously mentioned : the road leading by the 
fortress of Derbend on the Caspian shore — the Via Caspia of the 
ancients — and the more important Pass of Dariel {Porta Caucasia;), 
which connects Teflis in Russian Georgia by the Valley of the 
Terek, leading through a huge rift of the Kasbek, with the Vladi- 
Kavkas — one of the strongest and most important fortresses 
possessed by the Russians at the northern base of the Caucasus — 
and Mosdok, another Russian stronghold on the Terek. This road 

5 



THE STRUGGLE IX THE CAUCASUS. 

is about 120 miles in length, and Strabo states, was accounted a 
four days' journey. Pliny says : ' Each narrow pass therein was 
closed by forge beams of wood, pointed with iron. In the midst 
of the narrow valley flowed a river. The south extremity was 
protected by a castle on a high rock.' This description applies to 
the present condition of the Caucasian Gate, with this difference, 
that the large beams of wood, pointed with iron, have been super- 
seded by forts, which command the narrow passes, and that the 
road has been much improved, although it still remains impassable 
during winter. Catherine II. was the first European sovereign 
whose troops marched through this dreary and dangerous defile, 
wherein the path is frequently but a few feet wide, shut in with 
precipitous walls of porphyry and schist, some 3000 or 4000 feet 
in height, and running along the edge of abysses as deep as the 
rock-walls are lofty. In some parts, especially in passing through 
the Kasbek, the road presents one or two aspects of a novel, 
imposing, and less terrific kind : huge columns of basalt hurled 
hither and thither, as if in Titanic sport, upon the surfaces of the 
mountain, or driven into its side — some erect, others more or less 
inclined, and suggesting, especially when the moon lends her 
giant shadows to aid the illusion, the ruined temples, towers, and 
palaces of an antediluvian city, interspersed here and there with 
patches of the fresh vegetation of a renewed world. The weekly 
Friday's post from Patigorsk to Teflis passes by this road, and 
escorted, as it always is, by two or three squadrons of Cossacks of 
the Line, and as many battalions of infantry, has generally 
a tolerable chance, according to Major Cameron, of reaching its 
destination. This road, it should be observed, has been in the 
military possession of Russia since the days of Catherine II. ; and 
in 1830, the Persian embassy, with the aid of a small army, safely 
accomplished a passage through it in six days. Of the Eastern 
or Caspian Way, it is only necessary to remark, that it connects 
Baku with Derbend on the Caspian shore, and the latter place 
with Kizlar on the Terek. It is very little used ; and in a military 
point of view, having reference to the subjugation of the Caucasus, 
of even less importance than the Dariel road. To this brief 
etching of a few of the chief features of the mountain Caucasus, 
we have to add, that the enormous range contains not only deep 
gorg-es, terrible abysses, impassable swamps, frightful rifts, and 
impetuous torrents, but extensive pastoral valleys, covered with 
flocks and herds, rich table-lands, numerous woods and forests, 
well-cultivated gardens and orchards, romantic glens, and pleasant 
and abundant streams. The lighting up of the Caucasian Alps, 
we may further remark, when seen from a favourable point of view, 
on a bright morning of summer, is a spectacle of singular ana 
imposing beauty. The crystal pinnacles, dome3, towers, piled 
multitudinously above each other, faintly pencilled by the earlier 
rays of the dawn in shadowy, gigantic outline upon the eastern 
sky, kindle, as the sun climbs the heavens, into indescribable 



THE STRUGGLE IN THE CAUCASUS. 

splendour — first, innumerable snow-crowned summits sparkle with 
golden fire, and presently the entire scene is a magnificent fairy 
land, glittering* with dazzling" sheen, relieved by the shadows of 
the mountain-rifts, and the waving- trees, and sparkling- ver- 
dure of the parterre at its base. The Emperor Nicholas is said 
to have been greatly struck by the novel splendour of the sight, 
and to have remarked to one of his suite, that he had never beheld 
the sublime command, ' Let there be light, and there was light/ 
so impressively illustrated before. 

The population of the Caucasus is as varied as its clime and 
physical aspect. There are Arabs, Mongols, Tatars, Turcomans, 
Georgians, and others ; but for the purposes of this narrative, it is 
onlv necessary to particularise three o± the principal groups into 
which its 3,000,000 or 4,000,000 of inhabitants are divided. These 
are the Circassians — or Tchcrkcssi, as they are named by the 
Russians — the Lesghians, and Tchetchentzes. The Circassians 
occupy the Caucasian range, from about Elburz to its north-west 
termination at Anapa — the strip of wedge-like country, from one 
to thirty miles in breadth, along the shore of the Black Sea — the 
south bank of the Kuban, the islets formed by that river and its 
confluents, and the Great and Little Kabardahs. The Lesghians 
are scattered over the south-eastern chain, from near Kasbek to 
Daghistan on the north, and Nucha on the south of the range. The 
Tchetchentzes dwell chiefly in the country enclosed by the Terek 
and Caspian, and divided by the Koisu from Daghistan. It was 
amongst the Circassians or Tcherkessi that Blumenbach sought 
his models of the human race, and, baseless as his theory may be, 
there can be no question that they are, physically at all events, a 
superior people. Pallas, indeed, asserts that the Kabardians, who 
differ in no perceptible degree from other Circassians, are descend- 
ants of the Teutonic knights. They are described as a fair- 
complexioned, auburn or chestnut haired race, of lofty stature, 
great width of chest and brawniness of shoulder, a small foot, and 
sparkling dark-blue eyes. The complexions, hair, and eyes of the 
female Circassians are usually of the same colour as those of the 
men, but more delicately tinted, of finer, glossier texture, and 
gentler expression. The figures of these ladles are, moreover, as 
exquisitely moulded as their features are delicately chiselled ; and 
commanding-, as they consequently do, a first-rate price in the 
Constantinople slave-market, it is not surprising that they are 
considered the most valuable property the head of a Caucasian 
family can possess. Both the Lesghians and Tchetchentzes have 
a tinge of the Tatar in their blood, and are comparatively dark- 
complexioned races, with full black eyes, and brig-ht hah- of the 
same colour. They are for the most part fanatic Mussulmen ; 
whilst the religion of the Circassians is of a very fugitive and 
doubtful kind, consisting chiefly of a few forms and observances 
relative to fasts and funeral ceremonies, compounded of Moham- 
medanism and the rites of the Greek Church. John de Luca, a 

7 



TJIE STRUGGLE IN THE CAUCASUS. 

Dominican monk, who visited them in 1688, says : ' The Circas- 
sians speak their own, and, imperfectly, the Turkish languages. 
They are partly Mohammedans, and partly Christiana of the 
Greek Church ; but their religious usages are chiefly confined to 
placing provisions (pasta and bozza) upon the graves of the dead, 
and the observance of certain fasts.' He adds: 'There is not in 
the world a handsomer people, nor a more hospitable one. The 
boys and girls serve the stranger bareheaded, wash his feet, and 
afterwards his linen.' In governmental and social policy, there 
is a sufficiently close agreement among all the Caucasian tribes, 
and in many respects it resembles the rude feudalism of the earlier 
middle ages. There is the same gradation of ranks and conditions 
— princes, nobles, freemen, serfs ; and substantial power, whatever 
the theory may be, rests with the family which commands the 
largest following, and furnishes the most successful leaders in war. 
Important questions, however, are discussed in public assemblies of 
princes, nobles, and freemen, who meet for the purpose in the open 
air on horseback. One of the most revolting- features of the old 
feudalism — that of compounding- for homicide and other felonies 
by regulated payments to the relatives of the person slain or 
wronged — prevails throughout the Caucasus. Homicide costs the 
offender 200 head of cattle, if the slain person be a man; but if 
only one of the gentler sex, the bereavement is held to admit of a 
lighter compensation — namely, 100 head. An insolvent offender 
becomes the property of the injured family, but proprietors 
are answerable in pocket for the misdeeds of their serfs. Mr 
Longworth, who visited the Caucasus in 1837, and is one of 
the most ardent champions and apologists of the Circassians, tells 
a story of a fellow who first committed a murder, which cost 
his owner 200 oxen, and not long afterwards mulcted him in 
sixty more, when he ran off to Russia, with another man's wife — 
sixty oxen being the precise tariff-cost incurred by the latter 
indulgence. In one respect, these people differ essentially from 
the robber-chivalry of the middle ages, whom in other matters 
they so closely resemble : they do not at all idealise woman. 
Beautiful as the damsels of Circassia are admitted to be, no knight 
of the Caucasus sets lance in rest in honour of a lady's charms 
and graces, though no one can be more keenly alive than he to 
their market-value. Even the enthusiastic traveller just quoted 
admits that he at first felt a good deal scandalised by the free-and- 
easy manner in which his hospitable entertainer spoke of his 
womankind, coolly remarking of the most charming creatures in 
the world, that one was just at the prime age for sale — another so 
many hands high, so many inches round the waist, and worth, as 
prices ruled, so much ! A thriving trade has, in fact, been driven 
in damsels from time out of mind by Circassian fathers, brothers, 
or other relatives, whose chattels they happened to be ; and the 
apologists of Russia persist in asserting, that the stoppage, or, 
more correctly, the hinderance, of this girl-trade bv the blockade 

8 



THE STRUGGLE IN THE CAUCASUS. 

©f the Black Sea coast, has been the chief cause of the rancorous 
antipathy of the Circassians to Muscovite rule — a reproach in 
which there is no doubt some truth, but which one is glad to rind 
does nut in the slightest degree apply to the warriors of the 

era Caucasus, by whom alone a tameless, uncompromising 
resistance to the Russian arms, has been, we shall presently 
find, organised and triumphantly sustained. And after all, this 
daughter-dealing, Mr Longworth and others suggest, may not 

o <nil a thing as at first it might appear. It has its bright 
j-ide like everything- else. No noble or free man can sell his 
child to any one of lower rank than himself in Circassia — though, 
of course, when the damsel is purchased for the foreign market, 
this libera] and enlightened provision becomes inoperative. Then 
the girls themselves like to be taken to Constantinople : they 
marry well there sometimes; and as ladies of Turkish harems, 
attain a higher social status than they possibly could in their own 
country. With the addition to this victorious vindication of a 
time-honoured custom, of a well-authenticated anecdote, illustrative 
of the keenness which long- practice has given the Circassian in this 
delicate branch of trade, we take leave of the subject: — A young- 
Turkish slave-merchant arrived in the spring of 1827 in the 
Caucasus with a purse full of sequins, destined for the purchase 
of a few young- ladies for the Constantinople market. Of course, 
he \\ 'as shewn the primest samples ; but instead of going- to work 
in a business-like way, the blockhead fell over head and ears in 
love — serious, genuine love, with one of the bewildering- houris 
presented to him for sale ! The father of the damsel quickly 
perceived the effect produced by his daughter's charms upon the 
dazzled Turk ; and both he and the deluding beauty smiled 
gracious acceptance of the enamoured slave-merchant's offer to 
marry the young- lady, and settle down quietly as the son-in-law 
of so respectable an old gentleman. Present after present of the 
costliest kind was lavished by the Turk upon his channel*, till at 
length the attenuated state of his purse, warned him that it 
was time matters drew to a conclusion, and he delicately hinted 
as much to his proposed father-in-law. l Certainly ; that is quite 
right,' coolly replied the old rogue. ' You have only to pay for 
and take her ; ' and he named the girl's money-price, adding, that 
he could not afford the slightest abatement ! All in vain v ere 
the passionate remonstrances of the outwitted Turk : he could 
neither obtain the damsel nor the restitution of his presents ; and 
soon, moreover, found he must get back as he best could — penni- 
less and wifeless — to Constantinople, which he forthwith did, 
cursing with all his might as he went the sons of burnt fathers, 
among-st whom he had been swindled alike out of heart and 
fortune. 

A few words upon the dress and equipments of this singular- 
people, and we pass on to their recent history and achievements. 
The dress of the men consists of a sheep-skin cap, a close-fitting 
No. 9. 9 



THE STRUGGLE IN THE CAUCASUS. 

frock, with loose hanging* sleeves, fastened by loops in front, orna- 
mented with two parallel rows of cartridges. The trousers are 
wide, the shoes of black or morocco leather, trimmed generally 
with silver. They are extremely vain of this showy dress, and 
in the art of tailoring*, consider themselves far in advance of the 
most enlightened of the Franks. ' You English,' observed Shamuz 
Bey to Mr Bell, a friend and comrade of Mr Longworth — ' you 
English have invented steam - engines, steam - boats, infernal 
machines for blowing* up ships, and many other wonderful things ; 
but I cannot compliment you upon your pantaloons, which are 
much too tight.' The arms of the Caucasians are a long rifle, 
slung* over the shoulder : two swords, one resembling those used 
by the British light cavalry, the other the short, straight, Roman 
weapon, which is worn in the left girdle ; and one pistol. They 
also, when on service, carry a. forked stick, to be thrust upon 
occasion into the ground, and used as a rest for the rifle. The- 
better sort of female dress is a bodice of green or blue silk, having 
a row of silver studs in front; a girdle, fastened with silver clasps; 
a skirt of striped silk ; loose Turkish trousers ; and ornamented 
morocco slippers. Married ladies veil their faces in a stranger's 
presence ; but the single and unsold are considerately permitted 
the display of attractions necessary to secure a husband or a 
purchaser. We may add, that woman is held to be so entirely an 
inferior being to man amongst the gallant Tcherkessi, that the 
highest lady in the land rises on the instant the meanest of the male 
kind enters her presence, and does not presume to reseat herself 
without his expressed permission. If, moreover, a damsel chance 
to meet one of the lords of the creation on the public road, she 
stands still, and waits, with ' downcast eyes and hands meekly 
crossed,' till he lias passed, dropping one or two graceful courtesies 
the while — a custom not without its advantages, in a matrimonial 
or commercial sense, according to Mr Longworth, inasmuch as he 
was never more impressed by female beauty, than when he saw it 
thus meekly address itself to the sympathetic admiration of male 
passers-by ! 

The tumultuous tides of conquest that in different ages of the 
world have poured through the gates, swept round the base, and 
past the shores of the Caucasus, produced, in a relative sense, but 
a slight and transient effect within its secluded fastnesses. Even 
the disruption and fall of the Roman Empire found no echo, or at 
least has left no memory there ; and till but the other day in the 
life of nations, the Caucasian cordillera was thought of only as 
the rude abode of numerous wild, diversified tribes, chiefly remark- 
able for their warlike and predatory habits and instincts. It is 
not till 1*264, when the Genoese obtained, by their treaty with the 
Greek emperor, the virtual monopoly of the trade of the Levant, 
by the Black and Caspian Seas and the north of Persia, that the 
Caucasus and its inhabitants reappear with any distinctness on the 
page of history. The Genoese built fortified mercantile stations 
10 



THE STRUGGLE IN THE CAUCASUS. 

along* the western and eastern coasts of the Caspian and Black Seas, 
as well for the promotion of their commerce, as to protect their 
depots from the enterprises of their friends the mountaineers. 
The ruins of these stations are still visible in many places ; and it 
is probable the faint impressions of Christianity still found amongst 
the Circassians were first derived from the Genoese. This trade 
monopoly lasted only till 1346, when the compact of the Venetians 
with the ruler of Egypt enabled the merchant-princes of the 
Adriatic to convert the more facile route by the Red Sea into a 
way for the well-nigh exclusive commerce of Europe with 
the East. The Genoese thereupon gTadually abandoned their 
otublishments in the Black and Caspian Seas; and the name, 
almost the whereabout of the Caucasus, vanished once more from 
the memory of Europeans, with the exception of the more than 
half-Asian Turks, who early manifested a strong- predilection for 
the beauties of Circassia, which the proximity of Constantinople 
to the eastern shore of the Black Sea enabled them to readily 
gratify ; and this white slave-trade soon became a steady and 

Ju'osperous one. The exigencies of this commerce, and the more 
imate one of which it was the precursor, necessitated the 
possession of certain fortified points on the Caucasian shore ; and 
this circumstance, coupled with the spread of a fanatical Moham- 
medanism amongst the south-eastern tribes, conferred, no doubt, a 
species of suzerainty upon the sultan ; but it appears certain that 
the Turkish emperors never exercised any real jurisdiction over 
the interior of the mountain country, and that consequently the 
logical position of the Caucasians, that Sultan Mahmoud could not 
transfer to another, as he affected to do by the treaty of Adrianople, 
that which he did not himself possess, is unassailable. After 
all, this treaty-clause was but a foreseen and inevitable incident in 
a drama long since commenced, the development of which was 
destined, sooner or later, to bring the mountains of the Caucasus 
into prominence as a rocky barrier to the southward march of 
Russia, which the Muscovite flood might indeed flow round and 
isolate, but could neither submerge nor sweep away. Nearer 
and nearer, as the years swept past, the heavy footfall of the 
northern Colossus had been heard persistently advancing. In the 
north, the Crimea had been seized ; in the south, Georgia was 
annexed ; and Catherine II., to improve the communication 
between the southern provinces of Russia Proper and the newly- 
acquired Georgian territory, built the fortress of Vladi-kavkas, 
near the northern terminus of the Dariel Pass; and organised 
in its vicinity a numerous colony of Cossacks, trained to the 
mountaineers' mode of warfare, and bearing the designation of 
' Cossacks of the Line of the Caucasus.' These, with the fort- 
dotted lines of the Kuban and the Terek, were, and still are, 
Russia's advanced force on the north and east of Caucasia ; for no 
real progress has been made in those quarters by the Russian 
arms since the days of Catherine. In 1806, Anapa, on the Black 

11 



THE STRUGGLE IH THE CAUCASUS. 

Sea, was ceded to Russia by a convention, to which Napoleon 
Bonaparte was a consenting* though not a subscribing- party ; and 
in 1829, the Adrianople treaty converted, as far as parchment 
mio'ht, the whole of the Caucasus into a Russian province. 

The Emperor Nicholas intrusted the ' pacification ' of his new 
dominion to an army of 100,000 men, under Field-marshal Paskie- 
witch, an energetic soldier, well versed in the strategy of modern 
scientific war. The held-marshal found his 'government' (Lc 
Gouvvrnemcnt du Cavcasc) in the following- dislocated condition : — 
Georgia and Mingrelia were in the possession of the Russians. 
In the country of the Tchetchentzes, in Daghistan, their wavering' 
domination was conhned to the Caspian coast, the gorges of the 
lower hills, and the valleys; in the Kabardahs and the plains of 
Abasia, the Kuban and Terek line of forts barely enabled their 
armies to maintain a doubtful rule, dependent in a considerable 
degree upon the possession of hostages for the good behaviour of 
the turbulent Circassians dwelling there. The sea-board from 
Mingrelia to Anapa, was in the hands of the Circassians; and in 
no part of the mountain-chain, properly so called, had the slightest 
permanent impression been made. We may, moreover, be per- 
mitted to doubt, that even this partial subjection of the northern 
plains could have been accomplished, but for the feuds and jealousies 
that have existed from time immemorial between the tribes of the 
Caucasus. When the dwellers in the outer valleys and steppes 
were attacked, the mountaineers looked coldly on ; and when their 
turn came, the inhabitants of the plains for a long time imitated 
the suicidal example. It is only of late years, and under the 
pressure of the Russian advance, that a serious and earnest dis- 
position to coalesce for mutual defence and support has been mani- 
fested ; and it is scarcely an exaggeration to say, that the sole 
permanent effect produced by the colossal armaments of the 
Emperor Nicholas upon the Caucasus, has been the vigorous 
germination of a Caucasian nationality. We shall presently give 
abundant proofs of this ; but in the meantime it is necessary to 
return to Marshal Paskiewitch and his scheme of ' government.' 

The marshal's experience of Caucasian warfare, from first to 
last, was a rough and lengthened one ; and after mature delibera- 
tion, and the failure of less onerous efforts at ' pacification,' he 
finally submitted a plan of operations to the imperial government, 
as the only one which, in his opinion, and in that of the most 
skilful of his officers, promised ultimately, though probably at a 
very distant day, and after an immense expenditure of blood and 
treasure, to bring about the desired tranquillisation of the Caucasus. 
Its actual subjugation, in the plain, genuine sense of the expres- 
sion, he does not appear to have hoped for — except, perhaps, as the 
long-distant result of the disarming influence of commercial 
intercourse, his scheme merely contemplating the bridling, holding 
in (' contcnir ') of the refractory mountaineers, by means of an en- 
circling and intersecting chain of forts, requiring, as he calculated, 
12 



THE STRUGGLE IN THE CAUCASUS. 

when all was done, to be garrisoned by at least 80,000 men. 
The chief points of this famous scheme, as finally settled by the 
military council of St Petersburg', are these: — I^irst, premising- 
that forts were to be erected along- the Black Sea line of coast to 
complete the encircling chain of Russian posts, the marshal pro- 
posed that lour new military routes across the mountains should 
sastructed, and planted throughout with fortresses: one from 
Gelendshik, on the Black Sea, south of Anapa, through the moun- 
tains to the lower Kuban; one from a still more southerly point 
on the Black Sea shore, through and over the mountain-range to 
the Russian forts on the north, in the vicinage of Elburz; 
Another from Nucha to the east of Georgia, over the Lesghian 
chain to the country of the Tchetchentzes ; and the fourth and last, 
from a point eastward of Nucha, over the same Lesghian chain to 
the fortress of Derbend on the Caspian. Other details set forth 
an- merely subsidiary to the carrying out of the one main principle 
of the marshal's scheme— that of securing and facilitating* the 
intercommunication of the Russian lines and fortresses. 

Before this plan was tinally decided upon, Marshal Paskiewitch 
Was summoned to the chief command in the Polish war; and for 
a long time subsequent to his departure, the Russian generals left 
in command amused themselves and their adversaries by military 
promenades, with movable columns, through such parts of the 
Caucasian territory as were not likely to offer many physical 
or active obstacles to their progress; but at length peremptory 
orders arrived from St Petersburg - , to initiate the plan of Marshal 
Paskiewitch forthwith, and the business of pacification commenced 
in terrible earnest. 

General \Yilliamenoff was the first to display his zeal in carry- 
ing- out the imperial behests. He quickly drew together about 
20,000 choice troops of all arms, but especially powerful in artillery 
— the only dread of the Circassians; and boldly advanced from 
the Kuban, across the mountains towards Gelendshik, on the coast 
of the Black Sea — No. 1 of the proposed Paskiewitch routes. The 
Russian commander intended to halt his army a sufficient time 
at three several places, for the purpose of erecting- temporary forts, 
or, more correctly, block-houses, made of sods and timber, that 
might be held against the Circassian rifles, till replaced by the 
more formidable structures, to which, in defiance of ancient pro- 
verbs, the names of Aboon, Nicholaetf, and Alexandrosky, had 
already been anticipatively given. WilliamenorPs movement was 
a vigorous and determined one, and for a time it seemed that no 
very formidable opposition would be offered to his audacious 
march. The first serious resistance was felt as the leading- columns 
approached the ridge of a thickly-wooded hill; and this the 
Russian artillery swept away without much difficulty. But the 
echoes of the invaders' cannon aroused a thousandfold more 
enemies than it destroyed; and Williamenoff had not reached 
half-way to Gelendshik, when the gorges of the mountains by which 

13 



THE STRUGGLE IN THE CAUCASUS. 

lie was environed, rang- with the tumultuous jackal* cries of a 
multitude of hurrying" horsemen, echoed hy the wild shouts of the 
Circassians already engaged, in exulting recognition of the timely 
reinforcement. A tempest of rifle-fire in front, flank, and rear, 
quickly revealed the deadly significance of those cries and shoutings ; 
and it was plain to the Russian commander, that not a moment 
must be lost in endeavouring- to extricate his army from the 
terrible predicament in which the imperial orders had placed it. 
To halt even to mark the spots for the contemplated forts, would 
be destruction ; and immediate directions were given to push 
forward in double-quick time, and to abandon everything without 
hesitation, except the artillery and men's arms, that might impede 
the march of the troops. As these pressing orders flew along- the 
gTeatly-extended and straggling fine, they were answered and 
enforced by the instant roll of the Russian drums, and the bugles 
of their cavalry — the artillery in front reopened its briefly- 
suspended fire ; and the Muscovite forces moved swiftly and firmly 
on through a long, narrow, and wooded rocky defile. The men 
fell by hundreds, shot down by innumerable marksmen perched 
upon every trunk or branch of tree, or ledge, cranny, nook of rock 
that commanded the line of march. Onwards swept the rolling 
fire, parallel with the sacrificed troops, in one continuous stream of 
flame, except where a break in the hills compelled the Circassians 
to make a frequently considerable circuit before they could again 
bring- the hated Muscovite within range of their fatal bullets. 
The Russians could oppose but a feeble, ineffective resistance to 
this murderous onslaught ; but they are hardy and stubborn 
soldiers ; and on the staggering columns pressed, without pause 
or hesitation, guided and pioneered by the incessant roar of the 
cannon in their front. At last they reached more open and 
favourable ground, where they halted and bivouacked under the 
protection of their powerful artillery, and remained during the 
brief summer -night unmolested, save when the glitter of an 
epaulette attracted a rifle bullet from some unheeded lurking- 
place, or the triumphant battle chorus — ' Ka ! Ri ! Ra ! ' — of more 
distant parties of Circassians, disturbed with its exulting menace 
the wearied slumber of their camp. The next day they resumed 
their march to the shores of the Black Sea; and as this first 
attempt at realising the Paskiewitch theory was not of a nature to 
invite, at all events, an immediate repetition of it, WilliamenofF 
determined, after resting his troops, to, if possible, reach Anapa, 
and regain his old quarters by the line of the Kuban. The 
attempt to do so proved a bloody and disastrous one ; and after 
a fierce and protracted conflict with the mountaineers in broken 
ground, unfavourable to the action of artillery, Wilhamenoff was 
compelled to retreat with great loss to Doba Fort, on the Black 

* The Circassians, when advancing to attack their enemies, invariably imitate 
the cry of the jackal. These cries have, it is said, a great effect upon the nerves of 
unaccustomed troons. 
14 



THE STRUGGLE I2S THE CAUCASUS. 

oast ; and the only desperate chance remaining' was to thread 
hack the perilous way by which he had advanced, there bein<r no 
transports at hand to convey his troops by sea to Anapa. The 
peculiar habits and loose discipline of the Circassians rescued 
Williamenoff and his army from this peril. About a thousand 
prisoners had been added to the household stock of the Circassians 
by the encounters just related — serfdom being- the invariable doom 
of all captives taken in war — besides other booty ; and the great 
mass of the mountaineers scampered home Avith their prizes, 
ag scarcely more than 1000 men to oppose the Russian 
return, which was consequently effected with great 
celerity and inconsiderable loss. This unfortunate march from the 
Kuban to the Black Sea and back again, which had resulted in 
the loss of between 3000 and 4000 soldiers in killed, wounded, 
ng, and prisoners, was converted by the transforming' process 
peculiar to g-overnment g-azettes into a splendid triumph — the 
cha-ti.M'inent of the rebels, it was stated, had been exemplary — and 
it was immediately ordered to be emblazoned upon the colours of 
the regiments which had the honour and pleasure of assisting 
at it! 

But Russia abounds with the human material of war, if not 
in its more costly requirements ; and the destruction of a few 
thousand armed serfs is not of a feather's weig-ht in her policy. 
Reinforcements of veteran troops, rendered possible by the termi- 
nation of the Polish war, were despatched to the Caucasus in such 
numbers that the beleaguering- forces have been estimated by 
French writers who profess to have had the means of ascertaining 
the truth, as high as 1 •">(), 000 men, exclusive of the Cossacks of the 
Don and the Line ; and orders to carry out the Paskiewitch policy 
at any risk or sacrifice, accompanied the additional forces. 

Thus stimulated and strengthened, the Russian generals, spite 
of the desperate efforts of the Circassians, succeeded for a time in 
making a show of progress. The forts of Aboon, Nicholaeff, and 
Alexandrosky, were built upon the route from the Kuban to 
Gelendshik, as originally intended ; and others erected upon the 
western shore of the Caucasus, greatly increased the efficiency of 
the blockade by the Russian Black Sea fleet. Tins sea-blockade 
tended more to incommode and alarm the Circassians than any 
other means of offence at the command of Russia. In the first 
place, it opposed gTeat impediments to their receiving- supplies of 
arms, and especially of gunpowder, always a scarce article with 
them ; and worse, far worse than that — for it is necessary to tell 
the truth even of men fighting in defence of the sanctities of 
country and freedom — the blockade was utterly ruining the girl- 
trade with Constantinople, one, as previously stated, of the chief 
sources of wealth possessed by the Circassians. It was, moreover, 
confidently asserted, that the czar himself intended visiting the 
Caucasus to urge the war ; and that a formidable winter-campaign 
— in which the whole of the detached Russian armies would act 

15 



THE STRUGGLE IN THE CAUCASUS. 

simultaneously, in conjunction with fresh masses of troops to he 
disgorged from the Russian ships on the Circassian shore — had 
been devised, and would, as early as possible, be carried into 
execution. In this extremity, the Circassian chiefs naturally 
caught up and repeated, with excusable exaggeration, the rumours 
of S3 r mpathy having been expressed in the gTeat councils (parlia- 
ments) of the AY est with their gallant struggle. At first, they 
appear to have imagined that the kings of Europe generally 
would interpose in their defence ; but that trust failing*, there 
could be no doubt whatever that the English monarch — the 
thunder of whose cannon at the not far-off Nile heralded, they 
well remembered, the discomfiture and expulsion from Egypt of 
the great French conqueror, and, as they had been taught to 
believe, deadly foe of the sultan — he, there could be no doubt, 
would send his ships to sink or drive away the blockading 
squadrons, and so insure their independence of Russia, the constant 
and implacable foe of England's faithful ally and friend, the 
Sublime Porte ! These illusions were strengthened and kept 
alive by the imprudent conduct and language of several enthu- 
siastic Englishmen, whose political insignificance the simple people 
of the Caucasus could not have been aware of. Englishmen were 
amongst them who professed, not certainly — as the principal chiefs 
were quite aware — to be accredited ambassadors of England, but 
certainly to be true exponents of the sentiments of the English 
monarch and nation ; whilst, to the mass of the Circassians, they 
were designedly represented as the official envoys of Great Britain, 
which was thus made to play a shuffling and disgraceful part in 
the eyes of the people of the Caucasus, through the instrumen- 
tality of English gentlemen of, it would appear, highly chivalric 
temperament, and the most ardent patriotism. 

The first person of any note that adventured upon this self- 
imposed mission was Mr David Urquhart, who landed at Sanjah, 
on the Black Sea, in his yacht the Mischief, in 1834. He was 
known to be in some way officially connected with the British 
government, and his arrival was consequently hailed with the 
utmost delight and enthusiasm. The very fact of the Mischief 
having defied the blockade with impunity, was held to be sufficient 
proof that the scared Muscovite knew that Daoud Bey, as they 
at once dubbed Mr Urquhart, had England at his back. It was 
quite useless for Mr Urquhart, under such circumstances, to be 
cautious and chary of his words, and to tell them, ' that till they 
were united among themselves, they could not expect the active 
interference of England.' Such expressions, equivocal at best, 
were unheeded — the Circassians had made up their minds that he 
was the avant-coiirenr of a British fleet ; and so rooted was this 
belief, that gentlemen who followed, three or four years after- 
wards, in Mr Urquhart's steps, who extol his discretion, and 
entirely participate his opinions upon Russian and Caucasian 
politics, admit, in the volumes which record their own adventures 

16 



THE STRUGGLE IN THE CAUCASUS. 

in Circassia, 'that from the day of Daoud Bey's arrival, the 
Circassians never ceased to look to England for protection, and to 
believe that it would one day be extended to them.' About this 
time, too, a notion beg-an to be actively disseminated in parliament, 
and by a portion of the English press, that Russia had no right, 
under' the treaty of Adrianople or any other, to blockade the 
( aucasian coast. This extraordinary proposition — judged by 
our own elastic theory and practice in the blockading- line — 
was expounded and vindicated with some show of reason; and 
M r .lames Stanilaus Bell, rashly confident of its irrefragable sound- 
. finally determined on testing" it in the face of the world, 
bv a deliberate, ostentatious defiance of the Russian blockade. 
With this view he chartered the Vixen, a large English 
merchant-vessel, for the Caucasus, and loaded her with munitions 
of war, for disposal amongst the so-called rebellious Circassians. 
Upon second thoughts, however, it was deemed advisable to make 
assurance doubly sure; and, previous to the Vixen's sailing-, a 
letter was addressed to Viscount Palmerston, then Foreign Secre- 
tary, inquiring whether the Russian blockade in the Black Sea 
was or was not recognised by England. The answer returned 
from the Foreign Office was a rash and mischievous one. * No 
blockade,' it stated, ' was recognised by Great Britain, a notifica- 
tion of which had not been published in the London Gazette.'' 
The blockade of the Circassian coast had not been so notified; and 
the Vixen at once set sail, the projectors of the enterprise congra- 
tulating- themselves upon the certainty of one of two desirable 
results : one, and much the preferable in their opinion, that the 
blockading- squadron would seize the Vixen, and thereby insure 
tho apparition of a British fleet in the Black Sea, to avenge the 
outrage by the destruction of the Russian armaments and arsenals 
there ; the other, that if the Vixen openly and successfully set the 
blockade at defiance, its illegality, or, at all events, the impotence 
of Russia to enforce it, would be placed beyond question, and the 
Circassians be thereafter enabled to procure a sufficient supply of 
munitions of war. Neither of these admirable results took place. 
The Vixen was seized in the very act of attempting to land her 
contraband cargo, and the British fleet in the Mediterranean did 
not instinctively dilate its giant wings to swoop upon and anni- 
hilate the insolent captors. Intelligence of this unpleasant affair 
first reached England through the St Petersburg Gazette, accom- 
panied by a long- and anxious vindication of the legality of the 
seizure, and further stating, that in consequence of the emperor's 
high respect for the flag, the privileges of which the captain of 
the Vixen had attempted to so grossly abuse, the officers and crew 
and the ship herself had been liberated, and only the war-material 
she contained confiscated. This news produced a considerable 
sensation in England, especially when read in connection with the 
letter from the Foreign Office, which Mr Bell took care, as a 
matter of course, to immediately publish. Warm discussions 

17 



THE STRUGGLE IN THE CAUCASUS. 

ensued in parliament; and Viscount Palrnerston, in reply to a 
question from Sir Robert Peel, bluntly declared, that the question 
of peace or war with Russia entirely depended upon the opinion 
that might be given by the law-officers of the crown, to whom 
the whole case had been formally submitted, as to the right of 
Russia to institute the blockade. The law-officers decided that 
Russia had a legal right to do so ; and how any one could for a 
moment imagine they might have given a contrary decision, 
appears very marvellous. We speak of course not of moral but 
technical rig-ht, as interpreted by the recognised maritime code 
governing- such cases. The Lords Durham and Ponsonby, the 
British ambassadors at St Petersburg- and Constantinople, as well 
as Viscount Palmerston, were assailed with much angry abuse for 
their ' base truckling-' to the czar; and it must be admitted, that 
the strang-e insouciance of the answer sent to Mr Bell from the 
Foreign Office justified, in some degTee, the clamour directed 
against the noble Secretary for Foreign Affairs. 

This exasperating miscarriage had the effect of inflaming Mr 
Bell's Circassian predilections, and he determined on a personal 
visit to the Caucasus ; partly, we gather, for j>atriotic and national, 
partly for private and commercial purposes. He arrived there in 
the spring of 1837, and, like Daoud Bey, was received with 
immense enthusiasm by the Circassian chiefs, who, in consequence 
of the seizure of the Vixen, had begun to fear ' that Russia was 
not even afraid of England.' The politic explanation of the new 
English ambassador — for English ambassador, spite of his modest 
disclaimer, they determined he must and should be — dissipated 
that apprehension ; and so important and opportune was his 
coming deemed, that several of the principal chiefs declared, that 
his presence in the north, and that of another presentable English- 
man, if one could anywhere be caught, in the south, would be 
productive of wonderful advantage to the good cause. In excel- 
lent time for the deliverance of the Caucasus, the arrival of Mr 
Longworth, a friend of Mr Bell's, completed the required British 
contingent ; and as it seldom rains but it pours, a short time only 
elapsed before another Englishman, gallantly equipped in the 
uniform of the Edinburgh Volunteers, made his appearance upon 
the scene, bringing with him, moreover, several barrels of much- 
needed gnnpowder. This gentleman, like his predecessors, was 
immediately styled ambassador, notwithstanding his earnest pro- 
tests to the contrary. ' But you cannot deny that you are at least 
your own ambassador,' his Circassian friends urged, with mild 
deprecation of his refusal of the honours thrust upon him. c Well, 
he did not know that he could do that ; ' and the amicable dispute 
thus terminated. The hopes and fears excited by these farcical 
proceedings were sometimes aflectingly expressed. On one occa- 
sion, Mehemet Indar Ogiou, a brave and respected chieftain, thus 
addressed one of the ambassadors : l Would to God I could see 
an English fleet off this coast! I do not wish to live an hour 

18 



THE STRUGGLE IX THE CAUCASUS. 

longer. You alone can deliver us. Save us from the Russians ; 
and save/ be added, his fine eyes kindling- with the remembrance 
of injuries received at the hands of his own countrymen — 'O 
save us from ourselves ! ' To another, who expressed a like senti- 
ment, Mr Long-worth replied : 'When the strength and intelli- 
gence of the Caucasus are united in the same manner as the stars 
and arrows in your banner, whereon they are placed as emblems, 
y<m might hope for everything, thoug-h hope in the assistance of 
England would be then superfluous, for you would have nothing 
to tear from Russia.' Words of truth and sense, thoug-h tainted 
by a misleading- hypothesis, and if addressed to a larger audience, 
might perhaps have done something- towards mitigating- the 
' ambassador' mania. In order that nothing- should be omitted 
that niig-ht in the slig-htest degTee enhance the prestige of the 
British auxiliaries, names of a highly formidable character were 
bestowed upon them. Mr Longworth became Alcide Bey; the 
Edinburgh Volunteer, Nadir Bey ; and Mr Bell would have been 
similarly glorified, had he not from the first obstinately refused to 
be in any way mixed up with the fighting part of the business, 
and now consistently declined any more menacing designation 
than might be implied by that of Hakim (Physician) Bey. 

The campaign which ensued was a busy, though a bloodless 
one as regards the British contingent, albeit Alcide Bey and 
Nadir Bey were once very near being hotly engaged, they having 
formed part of an expedition intended to storm a Russian fortress, 
an exploit which, unfortunately postponed at the last moment, did 
not come on till after the departure of those gentlemen for England. 
What we mean by 'busy 'is, that numerous proclamations and 
dispatches were drawn up and addressed to the Russian com- 
manders, ordering them out of the country in the name of England, 
whose envoys had already arrived in the Caucasus. General 
Williamenoff, instead of merely laughing at these follies, seems to 
have been thrown into a passion by them ; and soundly rated the 
Circassian delegates for their stupidity in placing reliance upon 
'those sons of brigands,' as he courteously denominated Alcide, 
Nadir, and Hakim Beys. He warned them, moreover, to submit 
in time ' to a power that never went to war but she was victorious ; 
had conquered France, and after slaying her sons, had earned off 
her daughters into captivity ; that England herself did not dare 
interfere with, as her citizens depended upon Russia for their daily 
bread ; whose armies were so numerous, that if the sky were to 
fall, it could be upheld by their bayonets.' This loud talk did not 
in the least impose upon the Circassians. Their English friends 
would write an answer to all that stuff before long by the light of 
the blazing Russian ships ; and very, very anxiously — impatiently 
— soon suspiciously, were those English friends looked for. The 
position of the ambassadors, always unpleasantly ridiculous, was 
becoming painful, if not dangerous, when intelligence of the 
death of William IV. — who, Mr Longworth boldly intimates, was 

19 



THE STRUGGLE IN THE CAUCASUS. 

a decided friend to English intervention in the Caucasus — arrived 
there, and was skilfully turned to account as the reason of the 
non-arrival of the English succours. The ambassadors subse- 
quently took leave one by one— first Nadir, then Alcide, and last 
of all Hakim Bey — but not till after Nadir Bey's powder had been 
unceremoniously confiscated for the general advantage, and Alcide 
Bey had convinced himself that the heroic virtues may exist even 
in excess, with very faint perceptions of the moralities involved 
in a practical appreciation of the difference between maim and 
Unun. Hakim Bey, the last of the British triumvirate to leave 
the Circassian shores, relates one or two incidents in his personal 
experience of a significant and instructive character. In April 
1838, he was in the neighbourhood of Petsh, on the Black Sea, 
when he was roused from gentle slumber, one fine morning, by 
the exultant and tumultuous outcries of his fast-cooling friends 
the Circassians. Hakim Bey and his companions, it new from 
mouth to mouth, were not deceivers after all, for the long-promised 
deliverer was at length insight! Hakim Bey was not long in 
ascertaining the cause of the unwonted excitement. A steam-ship 
of war, it was seen from the crowded beach, was pursuing with 
cannon-fire a large vessel under crowded canvas ; and shouts of 
' The English ship ! the English ship ! ' became deafening and 
incessant, as each passing moment made it more and more apparent 
that the fleeing vessel — doubtless a Russian, though neither 
pursuer nor pursued shewed colours — could not by possibility 
escape. ' The English ship ! the English ship ! ' It would appear 
that Mr Bell himself was for a moment carried away by the 
enthusiasm of the crowd into a wild belief that England was 
really at last upon the waters of the Black Sea, and already in 
fierce collision with the Muscovite, for he exclaims bitterly of the 
mortification and dismay he felt to presently see, instead of St 
George's meteor ensign, the Russian nag fly out at the mast-head 
of the steamer ; and that the chase was consequently a friendly 
ship, that, in endeavouring to elude the blockade, had unluckily 
fallen in with the first steamer employed in that service ! Alas ! 
and evil looks were thenceforth bent upon the utterly discredited 
envoy, who, a short time afterwards, as he ' mused ' upon the 
shore, was assailed by a hot-blooded Circassian in a way that, but 
for the good offices of his Polish servant, who interposed resolutely 
in his master's behalf, might have had unpleasant consequences. 
' If he is not an English ambassador,' exclaimed the mountaineer, 
by way oijinalc, to the fierce colloquy, ' he must be a Russian spy ; 
and were he not the guest of Hassan Bey, I would shoot him.' A 
pleasant intimation, strongly illustrative of the wisdom of a certain 
Hudibrastic axiom relative to the penalty pretty sure to be incurred 
by a gratuitous interference in quarrels not one's own. To prove 
that the deeply-rooted confidence of the Circassians in the ultimate 
certainty of British intervention was shaken onlv, not overthrown 
by delays, disappointments, and the death of tVilliam IV., it is 
20 



THE STRUGGLE IN THE CAUCASUS. 

only necessary to quote a few sentences from an elaborate document 
addressed to Queen Victoria, and subscribed, we are assured, by 
1250 heads of families. It begins thus : — ' To Queen Victoria, the 
highly-venerated Potentate, the Possessor of the Provinces and the 
Crown, and the Magnificent Monarch of England (of the Imperial 
Brilliant Household), this humble representation of her servants 
the Circassians.' The proper measures to be taken are next set 
forth; but in the event of the Queen of Great Britain demurring 
to those extreme propositions, a middle course is, in conclusion, 
suggested : — ' If, however, your Majesty should not deem these 
arrangements advisable, we trust your Majesty will issue orders 
(feat we may continue free and independent, like Persia, Afgha- 
nistan, and other mountain-countries; and when your Majesty has 
thus definitively ordered and arranged, we will consider how we 
■hall next proceed.' 

But the time had arrived when it was imperatively necessary 
that the Circassians should cast aside — for a time, at all events — 
all thought of reliance upon any other help than that of God, and 
their own sharp swords and tameless energies. The czar had, as 
predicted, visited the Caucasus, and the war soon afterwards 
recommenced with unexampled violence and determination. Three 
large bodies of troops were landed in the spring- and summer of 
is:;!) on the Circassian shore, and a bitter campnig-n of at first 
Y;iricd fortune was forthwith commenced, which lasted through 
the greatest part of the ensuing* winter, and finally resulted in the 
virtual abandonment by Russia of the attempt to bring- the Circas- 
tum mountaineers into subjection. The first heavy disaster which 
befell the Russian armaments was caused by a tempest, in which 
seventeen ships of war — of which two were three-deckers, and six 
heavily-armed frigates — employed in covering- the disembarkation 
of the first detachment of troops, were either driven on shore or 
foundered in the Bad Black Sea; a catastrophe of frequent occur- 
rence, thoug-h not certainly to the same frig-htful extent, with ill- 
found ships, handled by the half-soldier, half-horse-marine sailors 
of Russia. A g-leam of success followed this terrible blow. On 
the 20th of June 1839, Major-general Kachontine, acting by 
direction of Lieutenant-g-eneral Golovine, marched with a brigade 
of infantry, two regiments of Cossacks, and six pieces of artil- 
lery, against the Circassian village of Sutchali ; and, after a 
sanguinary contest, in which, according to the Russian bulletin, 
the assailants lost 800 men in killed and wounded, obtained posses- 
sion of it. The czar was overjoyed at this dearly-bought success, 
which was instantly mag-nified into a glorious and important 
triumph. The order of Stanilaus I. was conferred on the fortunate 
general ; it was ordered that a fort should be immediately built 
upon the site of Sutchali ; and the great victory which shines 
by that name in the Russian military annals, was forthwith 
published throughout the empire. These boastings, however 
much they may have momentlv imposed upon the nations of 

21 



THE STRUGGLE IN THE CAUCASUS. 

Western Europe, for whose gratification they were chiefly penned 7 
did not, at all events, blind the triumphant emperor and his victo- 
rious generals to the true aspect of affairs in the Caucasus ; and 
Lieutenant-general Golovine, after the landing- in September of a 
fresh army in the Bay of Semez — misnamed Soudjack in some of 
the maps — resolved, previous to marching- against the Circassians, 
who had gathered in great force near Tchoyallos, to try what 
virtue there might be in negotiation and a large abatement of the 
price of peace. He thus addressed them : ' The most mighty of 
all earthly potentates and great monarch the emperor, towards the 
end of last year condescended to visit the Caucasus ; and in his 
unbounded clemency, his imperial majesty deigned personally to 
inform himself from the deputies of the different nations, of 
circumstances respecting the position and the wants of the tribes 
which they represented ; and in this manner having learned that 
the previous conditions were too onerous, the magnanimous 
monarch has changed them for the gracious conditions upon 
which in future the submission of the mountaineers will be 
accepted of — namely, "Cease from all hostilities against us; 
give the hostages we shall name ; and surrender all the deserters 
and all the prisoners you have taken.'"' General Golovine, not 
being yet perhaps aware that two out of the three British beys 
had left the Caucasus, also indulged in some bitter remarks upon 
those 'impostors,' as he was pleased to style them, who, he 
assured the Circassians, instead of being* their friends, were in 
fact their bitterest enemies. The Russian general was even less 
successful with his pen than with his sword, as the following 
emphatic reply of the mountaineers to the new propositions of 
1 The Commander of the detached corps of the Caucasus ' very 
clearly shews : ' We know you well : you are men without faith, 
without honour, without religion ; and w T e would as soon place 
confidence in the pigs which roam our forests, and which we 
esteem just as much as we do so many Muscovites. Thank God r 
we know our friends from our enemies, and are not to be so grossly 
imposed upon as you imagine. You will next assert, that the 
steamers and other ships whose wrecks bestrew our coast were not 
Russian ! Spare us your assurances, proceed with .your war, and 
do your worst ! ' 

The Russian commander's pacific overture was evidently a gross 
blunder, tending only to swell the pride and audacity of his adver- 
saries ; and his tierce endeavours to retrieve it by the more potent 
arguments of bayonets and cannon, were equally vain and futile. 
Unimportant successes, alternating with exasperating checks, and 
diversified with abortive promenades and harassing marches, 
gradually were away the energies and spirit of the troops and the 
hopes of the general, who once more offered conditions, this time 
leaving- out the demand for hostages : again unsuccessful ! ' The 
line of the Kuban, the freedom of the sea-coast,' were the counter- 
demands of the exulting* mountaineers ; and now commenced the 
22 



THE STRUGGLE IN THE CAUCASUS. 

series of dashing- exploits by which the works that had cost 
Russia years of immense labour, and a prodigious sacrifice of men 
and money, were swept away in a few months. Fort after fort — 
those of Aboon, Nicholaeff, and Alexandrosky included — were 
stormed one after another by the tumultuous assaults of the 
Circassians, and levelled with the ground. The scheme of Paskie- 
witch had to be commenced anew ; and disheartening*, hopeless as 
this might be, there is little doubt that, under the pitiless orders 
from St Petersburg", it would have been set about again, but for 
thickening- rumours of a new dang-er having* arisen in the hitherto 
comparatively manag-eable south-eastern mountain- range. A 
prophet-leader, as familiar with the Koran as with the sword, had, 
it was said, unfurled the banner of Islam, rallied beneath it a host of 
fanatic Lt'sirhians, Tchetchentzes, and others, and at their head was 
sweeping- the Russian colonies in the plains as with a fiery hurri- 
cane. This startling intelligence was soon abundantly confirmed, 
and a peace, or rather truce, was as quickly as possible patched up 
with the Circassians ; the essential conditions of which were — 
neutrality on the part of the Circassians in regard to the contest 
in the South-eastern Caucasus ; and, on that of the Russians, the 
virtual abandonment of the sea-blockade, so far as it affected the 
Tcherl'cssi, and their girl-trade especiaDy ; and that no further 
attempt should be made to rebuild the demolished forts — a compact 
which has been kept with passably good faith on both sides. 
Thus terminated the Russian ' conquest ' of Circassia. 

The renewed outbreak in the Eastern Caucasus was so much 
the more formidable and menacing, that it was kindled and 
lined by religious as well as national fanaticism, and admitted, 
consequently, of neither truce nor compromise. Its chief hero, 
Schamil Bey — the Abd-el-Kader of the Caucasus — will require a 
few preliminary words of introduction. 

From the beginning of the war, a devout Mussulman, Kasi- 
Mollah, held a chief command in the bands of Lesghians, 
Tchetchentzes, and other tribes of the eastern chain and the steppes 
abutting on the Caspian and traversed by the Koisu. Kasi- 
Mollah's reputation for sanctity was gTeater than that which he 
acquired for the higher military qualities, although a dashing 
leader, and individually one of the bravest of the brave. He was 
brought to bay as early as 1832 by General Rosen, at a place 
called Gumri. Encircled on all sides, almost the last scrap of food 
devoured, nothing remained, in the opinion of Kasi-Mollah and 
about thirty of his most zealous disciples, but to hew for themselves 
a path through the Russian bayonets, to freedom or to Paradise — 
either alternative a welcome one ! This resolution finally taken, 
they suddenly emerged from the fastness they could no longer hold, 
and burst upon the Russian troops with the shock of an avalanche, 
and the furious, discordant yells of a troop of madmen. For one 
or two brief moments, it seemed that they must escape, so far 
through the beleaguering circle of their foes did they cleave their 

23 



THE STRUGGLE IN THE CAUCASUS. 

desperate way, before the momently recoiling* ranks reclosed around 
them, and they fell by twos and threes, wildly fighting to the last, 
riddled by musket-balls and bayonet-stabs. Kasi-Mollah ' died 
with his hand on his beard, and a last prayer murmuring" from his 
lips ;' and his pupils perished with him, all save one, and he the 
bravest and fiercest of them all, who broke throug'h the encircling 
bayonets, dashed at headlong speed past the more distant lines of 
running-fire unharmed — as if he bore a charmed life — reined 
suddenly up as he reached the angle of a mountain-gorge, into 
which he knew none dared to follow, shook his red scimitar, and 
hurled a detiant execration in the faces of his baffled foes, and the 
next moment, with an exulting shout of ' Allah ! II Allah ! ' 
disappeared in the dark mountain-pass. This fortunate horse- 
man was Schamil, the future Imam (preacher), the prophet- 
soldier of the Caucasus, whose escape, as just described, his 
followers to this day firmly believe was due to the direct inter- 
position of the angel Gabriel ! General Rosen of course attached 
little consequence to the escape of one man, daring and fortunate 
as he might be ; and a flaming dispatch reached the czar in due 
time, announcing that the fall of Kasi-Mollah had brought the 
whole of the South-eastern Caucasus to his imperial majesty's feet, 
thoroughly reduced to submission and tranquillity by the valour 
and devotion of his imperial majesty's troops. 

Schamil, one of the dark-eyed, dark-haired, partly Tatar race of 
Tchetchentzes, was born at Tschirskei, a place of about 3000 inhabi- 
tants; and after his escape from Gumri, he employed several years 
in perambulating the mountains of the Lesghian chain, preaching 
wherever he went with fervid eloquence upon the sacred duty, 
devolved by God, upon all true believers to extirpate the intrusive 
infidel, and the paradisal rewards which death in so high and holy 
a cause must infallibly insure. This prophet-call, as it was deemed, 
to battle from the cupolas and minarets of the sublime and towering 
Alps, gradually kindled the latent fanaticism of the mountaineers 
to a flame, which soon communicated itself to the dwellers in the 
cities and steppes of Daghistan, and the adjacent valleys and plains. 
The story of Schamil's miraculous escape from General Rosen, by 
favour of the archangel Gabriel, was repeated from mouth to 
mouth with endless variations and additions — his daring, skill, 
and success as a soldier confirmed the illusions of a credulous 
bigotry ; and he gradually drew around his standard, and bent to 
his sway, the multitude of rugged warriors whose swords have 
inscribed so many victories upon the backs of the Russian armies, 
and to this hour present an invincible front to their dismayed, and 
practically discomfited adversaries. Schamil Bey now organised 
and carried into execution a system of terror which enlisted the very 
fears of the timid and time-serving amongst his compatriots against 
the common enemy. Wo to the Caucasian village or district ! — 
wo to any individual habitant of the Caucasus within the reach of 
Schamil's vengeance — who dared to aid, keep truce, or submit 

•24 



THE STRUGGLE IN THE CAUCASUS. 

without n valiant struggle to the Muscovite: such offenders were 
! without mercy or appeal! The offence was, moreover, 
inexpiable — known to be bo, and that Sehamil would keep unswerv- 
ing watch for months and years, till an opportunity presented 
itself for inflicting 1 retribution. One instance of the tenacity with 
which he remembered the features and dogged the life of any 
guilty of treachery towards himself or the national cause — • 
prisoners taken in open warfare he contented himself with reducing- 
to domestic slavery— may be mentioned in this place : He had 
invested a Russian fort, and the officer commanding- the detach- 
ment which held it solicited a parley, not for thsbona-fide purpose, 
as pretended, of arranging terms of capitulation, but solely to 
gain time for the arrival of forces which he knew were on the 
\\;iy to his relief. The ruse succeeded) and Sehamil, disappointed 
of bis prey, was obliged to retire precipitately. But the baffled 
Caucasian leader never forgot the circumstance nor the features of 
the individual by whom lie had been, as he thought, treacherously 
outwitted; for, years afterwards, his eagle glance recognised the 
dishonest negotiator amidst a crowd of prisoners just brought in. 
A word and a gesture sufficed, and the next moment ' the lying- 
lips bit the di 

At length (1839), General Grabbe advanced with 1-2,000 veteran 
troops towards Achulko, reputed to be Schamil's stronghold, and 
in reality a kind of mud-hut encampment perched upon the top of 
;i rock on the banks of the Koisu. Sehamil appears to have been 
taken by surprise ; but although disconcerted by the Muscovite 
general's rapid and skilful movement, which forced him to retire 
very unwillingly upon Achulko, where no preparation for a sieg-e 
had been made, he opposed a desperate resistance to the Russian 
advance. He attacked General Grabbe on the 7th of July, and 
it Mas not till the evening- of the 8th that lie slowly yielded to the 
disciplined persistence of the Russian troops, after inflicting" as 
well as sustaining- terrible loss. On the 12th, he ag-ain assailed 
the Russians with murderous ferocity, neither giving nor accepting- 
quarter ; but he could not effectually arrest their progress, aided 
as it was by the lire of a numerous and well-served artillery, 
which the tolerably open nature of the country greatly favoured; 
and General Grabbe ultimately found himself before or rather 
beneath Achulko. It consisted, he perceived, of about 300 wattled 
huts surrounded by a mud-wall, and he imagined it was only 
necessary to direct an assault in order to capture both the place 
and its defenders. Colonel Wrangel, commanding* the regiment 
of ttite, called ' Erivan Paskiewitch,' composed of 1500 choice 
soldiers, was according-ly directed to advance against and storm 
Achulko. How the colonel and the regiment of elite honoured 
with this commission fared, cannot be better told than in Colonel 
^WrangfePs own words, as related by M. le Comte Suzannet : — 
1 Achulko, situated upon the point of a rock, was strong only 
by position. A deep ravine separated and isolated it from the 

25 



THE STRUGGLE IN THE CAUCASUS. 

surrounding- mountains. In order to reach Achulko, it was necessary 
to descend a long- ledge of rock hardly two feet wide. Whoever 
should chance to slip or be struck by a bullet, must fall over and 
perish miserably upon the rocks which, shutting- in the bed of the 
torrent, form in this place precipices terrible as deep. General 
Grabbe having-, nevertheless; given the order to advance, Colonel 
Wrangel moved forward at the head of his 1500 picked soldiers, 
and reached the ledg-e, which was found to be about sixty yards 
long-. Schamil waited silently till they were well upon it, and 
then opened a rifle-fire so destructive, that the men fell over the 
precipice by scores, the fall of one frequently drag-g-ing- several 
others after him ; and the rocks below were in a few minutes 
covered with dead bodies. Three times the frightful pass was 
obstinately essayed ; till at length Colonel Wrangel, who was 
himself wounded, and had only 50 men remaining out of 1500, 
and two out of thirty-four officers, perforce abandoned the mad 
attempt, and all hope of carrying- Achulko by assault was 
given up.' 

Schamil, unhappily, had soon a deadlier foe than General 
Grabbe and his army to contend with — hunger : hunger, verging 
upon famine, came before a week had passed. This was known 
in the Russian camp ; and the place having been strictly invested 
on all sides, it was certain that the hour of surrender could not be 
long delayed. On the last day but one of August, General Grabbe 
learned, from an emaciated Lesghian, whom his soldiers had caught 
whilst attempting to crawl past the blockading lines, that not a 
particle of food was left in Achulko ; that Schamil Bey proposed 
to escape that very night, with one or two chosen comrades, by 
means of a rope lowered down the face of the rock to the Koisu ; 
and Achulko, he added, would be surrendered immediately after- 
wards. A strict watch was immediately ordered to be kept 
at the indicated spot, and directions were given to awaken the 
general at whatever hour of the night the capture of the redoubted 
Schamil might be effected. Just before dawn, one — two — three 
men were seen to cautiously descend by a rope, let gently down 
on the river side, as predicted, who were of course instantly secured, 
and hurried oif to the general's tent. One of the captives admitted, 
in the flurry of the surprise, as was supposed, that he was Schamil ; 
and this was confirmed by the Lesghian r through whose informa- 
tion the important prize had been secured. General Grabbe 
was delighted; and an cstafettc was forthwith despatched with 
the tidings, that the notorious rebel, Schamii Bey, had been 
caught, and ordered to be shot out of hand. Whilst all this was 
going on, the rope, which had been quietly drawn up again, was 
once more lowered, and this time one man only descended by it, 
who reached the river unobserved, leaped upon a raft that just 
at the critical moment swept by ; and the too hastily exultant 
Russian general was aroused to a knowledge of the trick that 
had been plaved him, by shouts of i Schamil ! Schamil ! ' from 

26 



THE STRUGGLE IN THE CAUCASUS. 

the mud-walls of Achulko, in exulting- reply to the waving* of 
a small green flag* by the true Schamil, as he swept down the 
swift Koisu in the dawning- sun-light, presently to lind himself 
amidst hills and amongst friends, that would render successful 
pursuit, if attempted, hopeless — impossible ! Achulko surrendered 
at discretion ; the huts were burned; and General Grabbe retraced 
-teps in very angry mood, winch a daring- attack upon his 
rear-guard, by the ubiquitous and indefatigable Schamil, at the 
bead of a large body of horsemen, exasperated to fury. The 
Imam was beaten olf with some difficulty; and the victorious 
general's march was sullenly resumed, and concluded without 
further molestation. 

This second daring- and remarkable escape from the very grasp, 
as it were, of his enemies, left no doubt in the minds of the most 
sceptical of Schamil's soldiers, that he was indeed under the especial 
protection of Heaven ; and his fame, instead of being- darkened by the 
capture. of Achulko, shone out in the dazzled eyes of his countrymen 
with greater splendour than ever. During the next three or four 
-. he waged an incessant, immitigable guerilla warfare against 
the Russian forces — now here — now there — on the Kuban, the 
Terek, the Koisu — in Georgia — in Daghistan, without presenting" 
any permanent or tangible point for attack. At last, his old oppo- 
nent, ( reneral Grabbe, heard (1843) that the terrible Imam was at a 
place called Darga, somewhere in the mountains to the north-west 
of Achulko, in great force. As quickly as possible, General Grabbe, 
who had been recalled for his want of success, concentrated upwards 
of '20,000 troops, and led them rapidly in the indicated direction, 
with the firm resolution — so discontented were they at St Peters- 
burg — of finishing with Schamil at any cost of exertion or of life. 
This time his march was very faintly opposed ; the observant 
groups, that retired slowly as he advanced, contenting themselves 
with ] licking- olf an officer now and then of his leading columns. 
The Russians found nothing* in their wearying, and seeming-ly 
endless march, but abandoned hut-villages, deserted valleys, and 
rugged mountain-passes. At length, it was no longer possible to 
proceed further ; the Russian general having- permitted himself to 
be lured by Schamil's decoy-scouts into a dreary, desolate cul 
de sac, the frowning barriers of which could neither be overpassed 
nor turned! They could do nothing but retrace their steps ♦ and 
the jaded, toil-worn, halMamished troops turned sullenly in their 
tracks, and commenced one of the most disastrous and sanguinary 
retreats that occurred during the entire war. Schamil's forces, 
that had scarcely shewn themselves during the advance, gathered 
in multitudes to obstruct and harass the" backward march ; and 
after several days and nights of desperate fighting, General Grabbe 
regained the encampment from which he had set forward, minus a 
fourth part of his army, several cannon, and a large quantity of 
baggage, and other material of war. 

One passage in this desperate strife, if comparatively an 

27 



THE STRUGGLE IN THE CAUCASUS. 

unimportant one with reference to the numbers engaged, must not 
be omitted. Intelligence had readied the Russian commander- 
in-chief, which induced him to despatch Lieutenant- colonel 
Boutenieff with a battalion of infantry, a squadron of Cossacks, 
and a couple of light field-pieces, to intercept Abdullah, the bey of 
Daghistan, on his way to Schamil with a large supply of much- 
needed arms and ammunition, escorted by about 500 men only. 
Boutenieff, a very zealous officer, marched with such speed, that 
he reached the spot in which lie was to lie in ambush at about nine 
on the following morning — two hours before his prescribed time. 
Abdullah had also marched with unusual celerity, so that when 
the Russians halted, he was not more than a verst (about a mile 
and a quarter) distant ; and but for the timely warning- of a scout, 
would have debouched in a few minutes from the hilly ground by 
which he was concealed into the valley lying between him and 
Boutenieff. As it was, the bey's position was nearly a despe- 
rate one — to retreat being almost as perilous as to advance, as he 
must necessarily be seen by whichever way he emerged from the 
ravine in which his men and the precious convoy they had in 
charge were for the moment screened. In this extremity, a Pole, 
of the name of Kovinski, a deserter from the Russian army, in 
which, since the capitulation of Warsaw, he had been, with many 
thousand others of his countrymen, compelled to serve, ventured 
his life for the chance of striking a good blow at the destroyers of 
Polish nationality. Abdullah knew his man ; and after a brief 
conference together, a paper was written and deposited with great 
apparent cunning within the lining of Kovinski's boot; and trusty 
messengers were sent off, by paths only traversible by accustomed 
and unencumbered mountaineers, to Schamil — a distance of about 
ten versts by the way they took, and perhaps half as much again 
by the ordinary road. A quarter of an hour passed, and then 
Kovinski, who had accomplished a considerable detour unobserved, 
was seen galloping past the Russian ambush. To the challenge 
of the Cossack vedettes, he replied by setting spurs to his horse; 
but he was quickly overtaken, and brought before Boutenieff. He 
first said he was neither a Pole nor a deserter, but his tongue, 
and the dress he wore, were sufficient denial of that assertion ; and 
the lieutenant-colonel informed him, that his only chance of 
saving his neck from a speedy halter, was by rendering his old 
masters some essential service at the expense of his new friends. 
Kovinski sullenly replied : ' That he knew nothing of any import- 
ance, and could therefore reveal nothing.' These words were 
hardly spoken, when the men, who were searching his person and 
clothes, lit upon the concealed note, which, on being handed to 
the lieutenant-colonel, proved to be an obscurely-worded missive 
from Schamil himself to Abdullah, apparently reproaching him 
for his tardiness. There could be no further doubt of the prisoners 
character and vocation; still the Pole continued obstinately dumb, 
and it was not till the rope was actually round his neck, that his 

28 



THE STRUGGLE IN THE CAUCASUS. 

firmness yielded to the terror of immediate death, and the promises 
of Bouteaieff not only of life, but freedom and reward, if by his 
niciins the 1 icy of Daghistan and his important convoy were captured. 
Kovinski, having reluctantly, as it seemed, consented to lead the 
Russian troops in the necessary direction, was placed in the centre 
of a clump of Cossacks, and securely fastened upon a horse behind 
one of them, who were all very distinctly charged, in his hearing-, 
to shoot or spear him upon the slightest indication of treachery. 
The troops then moved on, and were soon lost in the gorges of the 
mountains. They had been marching about three hours, and, 
according to Kovinski, were approaching Abdullah's encampment, 
when suddenly a shrill cry, like that of a bird of prey screaming 
overhead, was heard, echoed with the quickness of thought by thou- 
sands of others, and at the same moment a multitude of SehamiPs 
horsemen, commanded by the Imam himself, burst out of the 
clefts of the surrounding hills upon the Russians. Resistance 
was vain — flight, which was almost as desperate, was alone 
attempted; and a score of Cossacks, and some half-a-dozen 
mounted officers, most of them wounded, were all that made 
their way out of the tumultuous massacre that immediately 
ensued, to the Russian head-quarters. Kovinski was killed, but 
whether he had been slain by friend or foe in the fierce hurly- 
burly, could not be ascertained. 

These great successes inflamed the enthusiasm of the moun- 
taineers to fever-pitch. Whatever enterprise the Imam or his 
subordinates undertook, was almost sure to be earned victoriously 
through ; and the imperial government were made aware, by 
dearly-bought experience, of the nature of the gigantic and utterly 
hopeless task in which they had so unwisely engaged. It was, 
however, resolved to make another strenuous effort to realise the 
Paskiewitch policy. In the event of failure, if we may judge from 
what has since actually occurred, it was arranged that, after the 
manner of the Circassian precedent — so that Western Europe may 
not be too wise in the matter — they should abandon, for a time at 
all events, the attempt to subjugate or control the south-eastern, as 
they already had the north-western mountain regions, and content 
themselves with holding their own in the plains, whilst awaiting as 
patiently as might be for some conjuncture favourable to the renewal 
of aggressive war. With this immediate and contingent purpose, 
the armies of the Caucasus were once more strongly reinforced ; 
General Neidhart, who had been as unfortunate as General 
Grabbe, was, like him, recalled ; and Prince Woronzoff left St 
Petersburg to assume the chief command, armed with the amplest 
powers, civil as well as military. 

The first care of the prince-general, after selecting and con- 
centrating the army with which he proposed to march against 
renowned Darga, the exact situation of which had, it was believed, 
been ascertained, was to organise his commissariat in an efficient 
manner. With this object, an officer was despatched to Astrakhan, 

29 



T1IJ; STRUGGLE IN THE CAUCA^ 

furnished with silver rubles to the amount, in English money, of 
L. 180,000, for the purchase of provisions and other necessaries. 
The prince-general stumbled heavily at this his iirst important 
step in the enterprise assigned him. He never saw agent, money, 
or money's worth again ; and after several weeks of impatient 
suspense, concluding that his envoy must have been intercepted, 
and the money transferred to SchamiFs treasury, applied again to 
St Petersburg for the indispensable rubles. These and the neces- 
sary stores w r ere at length obtained; and on the 13th of June 
1845, a powerfully organised force of between 30,000 and 40,000 
men, moved rapidly in the direction of Darga, the capture of 
which tremendous stronghold would, it was believed, regloss the 
tarnished lustre of the Russian arms. The troops were no sooner 
fairly in the mountains, than the resistance opposed to them 
assumed a determined, ferocious character. Every step was 
obstinately disputed ; barricades formed of trunks of trees, frag- 
ments of rock, and double rows of strong stakes, the interstices 
filled up with earth, had been thrown across the narrow passes, 
and but for the Russian cannon, would have effectually barred the 
advance. As it was, the carnage at each of these positions, 
flanked as they all were by Schamil's tirailleurs, was terrific ; and 
there were in one portion of the route eighteen barricades counted 
in as many miles ! Still, slowly, and at a dreadful sacrifice of life, 
as it might be, the Russian columns pressed steadily and reso- 
lutely on, and at last reached Darga — Darga ! consisting of forty 
or fifty hut-houses on a lofty plateau, environed by enormous 
birch-trees ! Worse even than tins disappointment, the plateau 
was quickly found to be commanded by inaccessible rocks — 
inaccessible, that is, from Darga — upon which the Imam had, with 
keen military prevision, contrived to perch hundreds of his best 
marksmen, who shot down the Russian officers at their leisure, and 
almost with impunity. The place was clearly untenable for any 
length of time; but the troops required repose, and Prince 
WoronzofF was, moreover, exceedingly desirous of dating his 
bulletin of 'victory' from Darga. Prompt measures Mere there- 
fore taken to check the fire of Schamil's rock-perched riflemen ; 
and on the following day, Generals Von Klukerau, Passek, and 
Victorofi", were despatched with ten battalions to bring up a quantity 
of stores left behind under a strongly-posted and numerous guard. 
Schamil encountered these troops on their return ; and a bitter 
light ensued, in which the Russian generals Passek and Victorofi* 
were killed, and Von Klukerau w^as barely enabled to rejoin 
Prince WoronzofF by sacrificing the stores he had been sent to 
bring up, his artillery, and heaps of wounded soldiers, whose 
writhing bodies tracked his march to the very verge of the 
plateau of Darga. The position of Prince WoronzofF was by this 
time well-nigh desperate. To force his way back with such terribly 
diminished numbers, in the face of the Imam's hourly-increasing 
and now victorious forces, was felt to be out of the question ; and 

30 



THE STRUGGLE IN THE CAUCASUS. 

but for the highly-bribed treachery of two Caucasian prisoners,. 
who undertook to convey a message, by a secret track across the 
mountains, to the fortress of Gersel-Aub, where General Freestag, 
one of the most energetic officers in the Russian service, was posted 
with a large force, the prince could not have escaped the shame 
and ruin of an unconditional surrender to Schamil and his moun- 
taineers, whom he had but lately affected to hold so cheap ! General 
Freestag- marched instantly to WoronzofFs relief — a movement 
unheard of by the Imam till too late to arrest it. Immediately 
the junction of the Russian forces was effected, the retreat began, 
which, but for the almost frenzied exertions of the Generals Free- 
stag and Von Klukerau, who commanded the rear-g-uard, and the 
-•rate energy of the Russian artillerists, Schamil's furious and 
incessant assaults must have speedily changed, from a hurried and 
disorderly march, to a headlong- night. Even so, the Russian 
army, but a few days previously so elate with pride, and confident 
of facile victory, emenred from the mountains in such a 
wretchedly disorganised condition, that after halting- at Jani 
Ouchi, in Georgia, where crestfallen Prince "Woronzoff hoped 
tremblingly that he was tolerably safe, the mere sound of Schamil's 
advancing* squadrons sufficed to create a disgraceful panic in their 
ranks ; and when the mountaineers actually burst in amongst them, 
they broke almost immediately, after offering the faintest possible 
e, and were pursued and mercilessly cut down for many 
miles. More than 200 officers were slain in this disgraceful flight 
alone ; and Prince Woronzoff could subsequently muster but about 
12^000 out of the 50,000 men originally composing his own and 
General Freestag's armies. 

Schamil Bey, after achieving this decisive blow, ravaged the 
iila ins with impunity, not in Georgia alone, but on the north of the 
Caucasian chain, carrying off numerous prisoners from under the 
very guns of the fortresses on the Kuban and the Terek. He failed 
in his attempts to storm Nucha and Zakatale; but the aggressive 
war of Russia against the mountaineers was at an end, and there 
<ince been no serious effort made to renew it. The latest 
intelligence, vid St Petersburg, of the war in the Caucasus that 
we have seen, dated in August last, relates with pomp and circum- 
stance an exploit by Lieutenant-colonel Prince Tschelokajeff, who, 
it seems, at the head of 746 militia and 4 Don Cossacks, had 
chastised three villages, taken seventeen mountaineers prisoners, 
and obtained a booty of several head of cattle, with of course very 
trifling loss to the Russians — three killed and nine wounded only ! 
To such puny dimensions, even as viewed through Muscovite 
spectacles, have Schamil and his lieutenants reduced the enter- 
prises and successes of the puissant czar in this once tremendous 
conflict. 

The Imam, as soon as he was relieved of the active pressure of 
the Russian armies, is understood to have devoted his remarkable 
energies to the bringing about of a federal defensive union between 

31 



THE STRUGGLE IN THE CAUCASUS. 



all the tribes of the Caucasus, which, if successfully accomplished, 
will lender any future attack of Russia upon their independence 
utterly vain and ridiculous ; for what power, what combination of 
powers, could hope to make a permanent impression on a tolerably 
united nation of hardy soldiers — fortressed by mountains covering' 
an area almost equal to that of England and "Wales — veterans in 
the only mode of warfare possible in such a country, and abun- 
dantly supplied with all the necessaries of life? The history of all 
mountain warfare supplies the answer, and none more strikingly 
than this one of the struggle in the Caucasus, in which the 
resources of a vauntedly powerful empire have been remorselessly 
exerted during many years against a heterogeneous and feud- 
divided mountain population, and the sole result has 'been bitter 
disconvfiture and disgrace ; beside so draining- and crippling* the 
finances of the Emperor of all the Kussias, as to compel him to 
the humiliation of soliciting the merchants and money-lenders of 
Great Britain for the means of constructing a railway between 
his two capitals ! 

The final ' pacification' of the Caucasus — so perseveringly 
promised as the certain result of each successive campaign, by the 
'victory' gentlemen who write, or used to write such a bold hand 
in the St Peterslnire/ Gazette — may be regarded as substantially 
effected by the only mode, as our own comparatively trifling 
Afghan experience teaches us, such a people, so situated, can be 
1 pacified' — namely, by ceasing to molest them; and although we 
may be sure the northern emperor will never confess a defeat, it 
is not the less certain that lie has been wise enough to tacitly, with 
the quietest, least obtrusive grace possible, submit to one. 




a 





'THE PILGRIM FATHERS.' 



T could hardly have been expected, that the more 

eager and enthusiastic partisans and admirers 

of the gTeat religious movement in the sixteenth 

century, would remain content with such changes 

in ecclesiastical doctrine and government as 

satisfied the views and wishes of the royal and 

hierarchical personages who in this country helped 

y^l on the triumph of the Reformation. True, the chain 

which bound the nation to the pontificate of Rome 

was snapped asunder, and some of the dogmas to which 

cjtn they were chiefly opposed had been denounced and discarded ; 



but 



remained to be 



more, much more, in tneir opinion, 
accomplished, before there could be any well-gTounded hope of 
the establishment of pure scriptural rule in England. It was not, 
they would fain believe, merely to set up the spiritual supremacy 
of the crown that that of the pope had been abrogated; and 
certainly, as regarded themselves, they, the Puritans, as many 
began to call them, were not one whit more disposed to submit to 
the yoke of Canterbury for having- cast off that of Rome. Austere, 
impracticable fanatics, persons of less fervid zeal, less deeply-rooted 
convictions, or more comprehensive charity, no doubt deemed them 
to be ; but none could deny that they were, as a body, thoroughly 
sincere, and terribly in earnest ; men who held the pleasures of life 
and worldly advantages as nought — personal liberty, life itself, at 
No. 7. ! 



'the pilgrim fathers.' 

a pin's fee — if by their sacrifice the cause which they believed to 
be of God might be thereby advanced. And it was quite in vain 
that our reforming- monarchs, Henry, Edward, Elizabeth, James, 
who, one after another, traced with their sceptres the exact line 
upon the sand beyond which the rushing- and tumultuous tide 
should not be permitted to flow, had recourse to the discredited 
weapons of a defeated intolerance in vindication of their own 
infallibility. Imprisonment, torture, death, failed to subdue, or 
sensibly check, the stubborn nonconformist spirit which animated 
the majority of the middle-classes both in England and Scotland ; 
and Elizabeth's reign had not closed, when it was clearly apparent 
that the fulminations of Lambeth were as impotent to rebuke or 
control effectually the progress of religious ' opinion,' as had 
been the thunders of the Vatican. No doubt during" the earlier 
portions of the great queen's reign, when the independence of 
the realm was menaced by the haughty and powerful Spaniard, 
devotion to her majesty, whose throne seemed to be the only 
barrier against the reimposition of papal rule, absorbed or domi- 
nated all other and comparatively minor considerations. One, for 
instance, of the most forward and stubborn of the Puritans 
condemned by Elizabeth's iniquitous Court of High Commission 
to lose his right hand, the instant it was struck off, waved his lint 
in the air with the other, and shouted : ' God save the queen ! ' 
JBut after the magnificent Armada had been destroyed, and the 
Low Countries had finally triumphed in their long- and terrific 
struggle with Spain ; when Scotland especially, for centuries the 
unyielding, and from her position and the character of her popula- 
tion, one of the most dangerous enemies of England, was about, 
by the accession of James to the English throne, to be united with 
her ancient antagonist, and all reasonable fear of successful 
invasion had consequently vanished, the fierce and prolonged 
struggle in behalf of mental freedom, liberty, sanctity of con- 
science, commenced in real earnest. Yes, mental freedom, liberty 
and sanctity of conscience, albeit these principles were not inscribed 
upon the banners of the earlier Puritans, who were, nevertheless, 
unwittingly it may be, their first and only indomitable champions. 
They began by wrangling against formularies 'in worship — the 
Book of Common Prayer, the use of the ring in marriage, the 
cross in baptism, the Aaronitic vestments of the priesthood ; and 
if the ablest, most clear-sighted amongst them had been asked 
what essentially they were contending for, the answer, if an 
unreserved and candid one, would doubtless have been, as the 
after-acts of their zealous leaders but too fully proved, that they 
were bent upon establishing and enforcing the practice, or at least 
the profession, of pure spiritual religion, as interpreted by Calvin 
and themselves from the Bible, and rooting out all other forms 
and modes of Christianity — a despotism as gross and detestable as 
any other that in any age has afflicted mankind. But the argu- 
ments they used, the principles they appealed to, especially that 



1 THE PILGRIM FATHERS.' 

main pillar of their strength, the indefeasible right of private 
judgment in matters spiritual, could not, experience taught them, 
be long* dwarfed and restricted to such narrow issues as they 
would have imposed. Two main irreconcilable principles, in fact, 
and them only, were in presence of each other — authority and 
conscience. There was no middle course permanently possible. 
Either the stubborn nonconformist must again bow his neck to 
authority, or, however reluctantly, concede to others that which 
it was his aim to secure at any cost or hazard for himself — 
inviolability and supremacy of conscience in thing's spiritual. 
This vital principle it is — lying" at the very root of Puritan dissent, 
but not, unhappily, for many years embodied in its practice — that 
has breathed enduring- life and vigour into the dry bones of a 
sour, dogmatic theology ; this, the sacred flame, the beacon-light, 
which, borne half-unconsciously, if you will, across the Atlantic 
to the shelter, and for the guidance of a new world by the Pilgrim 
Fathers, still hallows their footsteps, and sheds a glory over their 
history which conceals beneath its veil of light the faults, errors, 
crimes — for that is the true word — which blot and darken the 
else bright, heroic record. As humble but faithful expositors of 
truth, it will be our duty to draw aside that veil, certainly with 
no irreverent hand, but the less unwillingly that we believe a 
higher moral, a greater, or, at all events, a more needed lesson, is 
to be derived from those stained and sorrowful leaves, than from 
the lustrous pages with which they so deplorably contrast; 
although these, we at the same time entirely agree, will be 
pondered over with enthusiasm and delight, as long as lofty 
enterprise, unswerving resolution, and unquailing self-sacrifice, 
have power to arouse the sympathies and command the admiration 
of mankind. 

Next to the House of Commons, in which the Puritans had, 
in the latter days of Elizabeth's reign, a powerful and growing 
party, they looted with hope, almost with confidence, to the 
accession of James for relief from the vexations and persecutions 
to which they were exposed. They were miserably disappointed. 
A conference was held at Hampton Court, before the king, between 
the Puritan leaders and their dignified opponents, at which his 
majesty, after giving unusual vent to the loquacious egotism it 
was his delight to indulge in, plainly declared, that if noncon- 
formists of all patterns and degrees did not submit to what he, in 
the plenitude of royal wisdom, deemed to be true and orthodox, it 
should be worse for them. ' I will make them conform,' were his 
words to Dr Reynolds, ' or harry them out of this land, or worse.' 
His acts redeemed his threats ; and as he was enabled for some 
years to rule without a parliament, the only potent and ever-hated 
foe of absolutism, the burning, hanging, torturing of unhappy 
dissidents from the Establishment, soon became as common as 
during the reign of the imperious Elizabeth. Many bowed their 
heads in affected submission, till the violence of the storm should 



'THE PILGRIM FATHERS. 7 

have passed away ; others, of sterner purpose and hardier mould, 
disdained to temporise, preferring rather to seek in foreign lands 
the peace and safety refused to them at home. A large number 
had emigrated, some years previously, to Holland, Switzerland, 
and parts of Northern Germany ; and amongst others who 
followed their example, were a numerous body of reputed 
( Brownists/ from the neighbourhood of Boston, in Lincolnshire. 
They were called Brownists for no other reason than that, like the 
Rev. Mr Brown, a beneficed and eccentric clergyman of the Estab- 
lishment, they asserted the right of free churches, and refused 
submission to Episcopacy and state rule. Their first resting-place 
(1606) was Amsterdam; but a schism having broken out between 
two of their pastors or elders, who mutually excommunicated each 
other, a large portion of them removed to Leyden, under the 
clerical guidance of the Rev. John Robinson, a Norfolk divine, and 
an amiable, just man. They now assumed the more appropriate 
designation of Independents, and for about twelve years dwelt and 
worshipped in peace — in peace, that is to say, inasmuch as they 
were not molested from without : but their hearts yearned for the 
accustomed haunts, the old customs, manners, the familiar accents 
of their native land. The people about them were civil and 
helpful enough, but strange — strange as the tongue they spoke. 
This home-sickness grew upon them ; and whilst anxiously pon- 
dering how to deal with it — for there was yet no safety in England, 
except on condition of c conformity ' — Mr Robinson bethought 
him of the vast new western continent, where reputedly fertile 
solitudes appeared to offer so inviting a refuge to fugitives from the 
oppressions of the Old World. The Spaniard, the Frenchman, the 
Hollander, were, he knew, already busy there, and the plantation 
of Virginia had been partially commenced in Elizabeth's time ; 
why might they not, then, hope to found another England in the 
American wilderness? — a New England, to which they would 
bear the language, the manners, the traditions, the self-reliant 
spirit, the passionate attachment to representative institutions, the 
indomitable hatred of despotism, the Magna Charta, the jury-trial 
of Old England — reproduce, in fact, in the regions of the setting 
sun, the England from which they were self-exiled for conscience' 
sake, in all but its persecution of the people of God ! The reverend 
gentleman lost no time in imparting the idea which had so forcibly 
struck him to his congregation, by whom it was received with 
enthusiasm. It was, they said, a message from God himself, 
commanding them to go forth and plant His church in the 
wilderness ; and no dread of suffering, peril, death itself, should 
deter them from obeying the divine injunction. These were the 
first Pilgrim Fathers — the forlorn-hope of the great Puritan 
emigration which, commencing in 1620, and mainly concluded by 
the meeting of the Long Parliament, not only founded and settled 
the New England states of America, but has, in a wonderful 
degree, impressed its own political and religious policy and 

4 



' THE PILGRIM FATHERS.' 

character, in their essential attributes, upon the institutions, ideas, 
tendencies, of the entire republic, one-third of whose inhabitants 
at this day pridefully acknowledge a Puritan origin. 

Unfortunately, these founders and lawgivers of a mighty empire, 
eager as they were to set out on their great enterprise, had not 
the pecuniary means necessary for transporting- themselves across 
the Atlantic, much less of purchasing- the implements, plants, 
seeds, indispensable to the attempt at hewing- out and founding 
another England in the forests of the New World. But difficul- 
ties, however great, usually vanish when grappled with by brave 
and earnest men. A joint-stock company was ultimately formed, 
in which a number of English merchants were shareholders for 
considerable sums. The commercial principle upon which the 
association was based was simple enough, thoug-h rather unfairly 
onerous towards the emigrant who had no capital but his labour 
to offer. Each of these, by virtue of that labour mortgaged for 
seven years, during- which all were to work in community, was a 
shareholder to the extent of L.10 ; so that upon the division of 
profits at the end of that time, the capitalists who advanced L.100, 
would be entitled to just ten times as much as a working 
emigrant. It was at first thoug-ht that a grant or charter might 
lie procured from the crown, but this was quickly found to be 
quite out of the question : a slight, contemptuous half-promise 
that they would not be interfered with, being all in this way 
their friends could, with much difficulty, obtain — a disappoint- 
ment of little moment, after all, to men who firmly believed 
themselves to be acting- under the direct inspiration of the King 
of kings. Two vessels, the Speedwell and the Mayflower — one of 
GO, the other of 1*20 tons burden, were taken up and prepared 
for the emigrants' reception ; and as many of the Rev. John 
Kobinson's congregation as provision could be made for, eagerly 
] ire j tared to embark. The minister himself remained behind, but 
was to follow with the remainder of his people as soon as the 
first detachment had effected such a lodgment in the American 
wilderness as would justify their inviting over the feebler 
remnant left reluctantly at Leyden. They were first to embark 
at Delft Haven for Southampton ; and on arriving at Amsterdam, 
several Dutch citizens of ample means were desirous of accom- 
panying them. ' Nay — nay/ said the English Pilgrims with 
one voice. ' We go to found a New England in the Far West ; 
and none but men of English blood, and who speak the 
English tongue, shall help in that great work.' Foremost amongst 
this band of stout-hearted, prejudiced Englishmen, were John 
Carver, William Bradford, Edward Winslow, William Brewster, 
Isaac Allerton, Thomas Prince, John Alden, Samuel Fuller, and 
John Rowland, all • pious and godly men ; ' to which list of 
memorable names must be added that of Miles Standish, who, 
though not a member then or afterwards of the congTegation, was 
a valiant soldier, whose military experience and well-tried sword 

5 



1 THE PILGRIM FATHERS.' 

might, he and others shrewdly suspected, prove of g-reat service 
in a country where it was well known ' salvages ' existed in Lir. e 
numbers, and might have to be encountered with the arm of 
flesh. 

The embarkation at Delft Haven (July 1G20) must have been 
an affecting 1 one. The Rev. Mr Robinson knelt upon the beach, 
invoking, with uplifted hands and broken voice, the blessing of 
the Most High God upon the faithful companions of thirteen 
years of exile, now departing' only to prepare another and 
more genial home for all the brethren beyond the deep waters. 
These prayers and blessings were echoed back by the Pilgrims, 
mingled with hurrahs from the more light-hearted and youthful 
amongst them, and followed by a rattling ' volley of shot, and 
three pieces of ordnance ' — a significant token that those strongly 
practical, as well as deeply religious men, had not left themselves 
without the means of self-defence, should the ' heathen/ amongst 
whom they were about to dwell, unfortunately prove insensible to 
the milder persuasions of peaceful words and kindly acts. 

They were not long in reaching Southampton, where, on the 
5th of August 1620 (O. S.), the PilgTims, in number 101, includ- 
ing women and children, embarked in the Mayflower and Speed- 
well for their final destination. They were scarcely in the 
Channel, when it was discovered that the Mayflower was greatly 
in need of repairs, and there was nothing for it but to run into 
Dartmouth. At the end of eight days, they once more put to sea, 
only again to suffer temporary check and disappointment. This 
time it Mas the captain of the Speedwell that obstructed the 
voyage. He could not, at the last moment, nerve himself to 
encounter the perils of the Atlantic at such a season of the year, in 
so slight a vessel as that which he commanded. It was perforce 
therefore that the indignant emigrants put into Plymouth. There 
both the Speedwell and its captain were abandoned, and all went 
on board the Mayflower, which, on the 6th of September, took 
its final departure from the shores of England. The Pilgrims 
experienced much sympathy and kindness at Plymouth from 
persons of their own views and convictions, many of whom 
promised to follow as soon as news of the success of this first 
experiment should reach them. The voyage out lasted sixty-three 
days. The intention was to settle in the northern parts of 
Virginia, somewhere in the vicinity of the Hudson River ; but the 
captain of the Mayflower ignorantly mistook his course, and 
effected (Nov. 8th) a landing at Cape Cod, the southern horn of 
the Bay of Fundy (Massachusetts), and considerably north of the 
intended place of settlement. 

As the adventurers had, as it were, cast themselves loose from 
all regularly constituted authority, it was obviously necessary that 
some definite form of civil government should be agreed upon, 
especially as there were some on board not, it was feared, - well 
affected to peace and concord.' With this view, the following 

6 



* THE PILGRIM FATHERS.' 

document — the first American charter of self-government — was 
drawn up towards the close of the voyage, and ultimately sub- 
scribed by the whole (forty-one) of the male emigrants : ' In the 
name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the loyal 
subjects of King James, having- undertaken, for the glory of God 
and the advancement of Christian faith, and honour of our king 
and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern 
parts of Virginia, do by these presents, solemnly and mutually, in 
the presence of God and one another, covenant and combine 
ourselves together into a civil body politic, for our better enduring 
and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by 
virtue hereof, to enact, constitute, and frame such just and equal 
l-.iws and measures, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to 
time, as shall be thought most convenient for the general good of 
the colony. Unto which we all promise due obedience.' Under 
this constitution, John Carver was elected governor for one year, 
with five, and subsequently seven, magistrates to assist him. Carver 
did not live to fulfil his term of office, having died during- the first 
spring ; he was succeeded by William Bradford, who held the 
governorship till his death in 1651, except for three years, during 
two of which Edward Winslow filled the chair, and one when 
Thomas Prince was elected. We may also here mention, that 
the ' commons' remained so few in number till 1G31, that they all 
met for legislative purposes. In that year, representation of the 
increasing- commonalty was resorted to. But to return from this 
anticipatory digression to the forlorn band of New Englanders 
juat arrived at Cape Cod. 

The geographical blunder of the captain of the Mayflower may 
be esteemed a fortunate one, inasmuch as the vicinity of the 
Hudson was crowded at the time with warlike savages, whereas the 
southern shores of the Bay of Fundy had been swept by a pesti- 
lence, which had destroyed great numbers of them, and driven the 
survivors to a considerable distance from the fatal neighbourhood. 
When Standish, Bradford, and others — impatient of the delay occa- 
sioned by the repairs required for the shallop, in which it was pro- 
posed to explore the unknown and iron shores of the bay, in search 
of a secure harbour and a decently eligible location — attempted 
an excursion inland, they met with nothing in the snow-covered, 
frozen wilderness but deserted wigwams, Indian graves, and a 
few ears of maize. Finding' it useless to persevere in a land 
exploration at that season of the year — an unusually severe one, 
by the by — they returned with somewhat dismal forebodings to 
their companions. The shallop at length being ready, Carver, 
Winslow, Bradford, Standish, and others — in all, twenty hands — 
nothing daunted by a second attempt which led to no result, 
embarked on the 6th of December upon a third voyage of discovery. 
The first night they bivouacked at Namskeket, or Great Meadow 
Creek, and early the next morning continued their westward course 
along the shores of the bav. The weather was intensely cold, 

7 



'the pilgrim fathers.' 

and they were, moreover, exposed for several hours in the open 
boat to a fierce storm of wind, hail, and snow. In the afternoon, 
the shallop's rudder was torn away by the furious sea, and they 
steered as well as they could with oars. In consequence of 
carrying' more sail than was prudent, in order to reach the harbour 
they had heard of before nightfall, which was rapidly falling-, the 
mast snapped in halves, and the sails went overboard. Fortunately, 
the tide was favourable ; and after safely sweeping- over a dan- 
gerous surf, they found themselves ' in a fair sound,' and sheltered 
under the lee of a small island, just within the entrance of what 
they afterwards named New Plymouth Harbour. The next day 
was Sunda} 7 ; but precious as time w r as to the worn and harassed 
explorers, and fully conscious as they were of how anxiously their 
return was expected, the duties of the Sabbath might not be 
neglected; and the holy day was passed in devotional exercises, just 
as if they were still assembled in the old meeting--house at Ley den. 
The return to Cape Cod was effected without accident ; the report 
they brought was deemed satisfactory; and on the 11th of 
December lG21,the sea-weary passengers of the Mayflower leaped 
exultingly ashore, and took grateful possession of the promised land, 
albeit that land was a frozen, inhospitable desert, hemmed in on 
one side by the howling: wilderness, and on the other, by the raging- 
sea. Forlorn outcasts upon earth as they might be considered, 
were they not, in their own firm belief, favoured children of the 
Heaven whose blue vault clipped them round about there as in 
the Old World, and whence myriads of radiant eyes were looking 
down with love and sympathy upon the holy mission to which 
they had been called — that of planting the pure church of God 
amidst the savage fastnesses of a but recently revealed and 
heathen wilderness 1 To such men, what could there be of terror 
or dismay in the aspect of difficulty, danger, privation, or even of 
untimely death ? 

The spot thus fixed upon was called New Plymouth, in remem- 
brance of the last place in England where they had briefly 
sojourned, and the kindness experienced there. Tradition relates, 
that the first to land on the rock at New Plymouth was Mary 
Chilton, the eldest of two sisters, Mary and Susannah. They 
came out with their father, Richard Chilton, who died during the 
first winter. It is added, that Mary Chilton married John 
Winslow, and Susannah a Mr Latham. The direct descendants of 
the Winslows are at the present day to be found in Boston, those 
of the Lathams are citizens of Bridgewater. In 1775, when the 
people of New England were on the eve of an unequal conflict 
with the same despotic principle, though assuming- another shape, 
from which their forefathers fled for refuge to the forests of 
America, and it was judged expedient to reawaken in the minds 
of the people the heroic memories connected with the landing of 
the first band of Pilgrim Fathers, the face of the rock was taken 
oif, and carried in procession to a spot beside the New Plymouth 



i THE PILGRIM FATHERS.' 

court-house, where it yet remains. The bed of the rock is still 
pointed out at the head' of the longest wharf in the now busy and 
nourishing city. 

The first faint hectic breathings of the infant colony could 
have indicated to the eye of faith only its after-vigorous youth 
and manhood. The time of arrival — mid-winter — was unpro- 
pitious ; and inland folk as they all were, the long voyage, cooped 
up as they had been in the little Mayflower, enfeebled the health 
of the Pilgrims, and rendered them much less able, in the unhoused 
and precarious condition in which they found themselves, to con- 
tend successfully, as they might otherwise have done, with the 
rigours of a New England climate. With March, milder weather 
came, and for the first time ' the birds sang pleasantly in the 
woods/ but very many were by that time in their graves ; and 
with the advance of spring, the mortality gTeatly increased. At 
the end of five months from their arrival, half' the emigrants we?*e 
dead. This frightful death-havoc did not in the slightest degree 
dismay the survivors, or dissuade them from their great task. ' Let 
it not grieve us,' they were wont to say to each other, ' that we 
have been instruments to break the ice for others : the honour 
shall be ours to the world's end.' Nor was the period of hardship 
and peril a brief or transitory one. Once during the third year 
of the settlement, they were so near famine, that only one 
pint of corn, which allowed just five grains to each individual, 
remained ; and for months together a piece of lobster or other fish, 
without corn or vegetables of any kind, was the sole, and that 
often scantily, obtainable food. The system of common property, 
stipulated for in the agreement with the London capitalists, bred 
grievous discontents, and it was found necessary to abolish it; 
after which a much greater alacrity and zeal for labour began 
immediately to manifest itself. There were other perils and dis- 
couragements. Although the pestilence of the previous year had 
cleared the neighbourhood of Plymouth of the tribe of savages 
formerly located there, the smoke of numerous fires in the distance 
testified from the first to the large number of them that skirted 
the English settlement ; and it was not long before a considerable 
body of Indians was seen hovering at intervals about the colony. 
One day — this was early in the first spring — an Indian called 
Squiculo suddenly presented himself before the colonists, exclaim- 
ing : ' Welcome, Englishmen ! ' He had been kidnapped some 
years before by the Portuguese, and taken to Europe. How he 
reached England, we do not know; but he was met with there 
by Sir F. Gorges, governor of Plymouth, and sent back by a 
trading vessel to his own country. He knew a smattering of 
English, and was of considerable service to the colonists, by intro- 
ducing them to Massatoit, the sachem of a neighbouring Indian 
tribe, with whom they made a treaty which endured for fifty 
years. The New England settlers, there can be no question, 
treated the Indians, as long as it was possible to do so, with 
No. 7. 9 



'THE TILGRIM FATHERS.' 

respect and kindness ; and to having done so, the Plymouth 
Pilgrims owed their escape from a great danger in the early and 
comparatively defenceless state of the settlement. The Narra- 
gansetts, a near and powerful tribe, were from the first disposed 
to look upon the pale-faced strangers with dislike and suspicion. 
The aged and ferocious Canonicus was the patriarch and chief 
ruler of this tribe ; Miantonimoh, their prime warrior and leader 
in battle. The latent enmity of this tribe was once so near 
kindling- into open hostility, that Canonicus, by way of declaration 
of war in form, sent the English a bundle of arrows enclosed in 
the skin of a rattlesnake. The governor, William Bradford, quite 
aware that the only chance of eluding the menaced attack was to 
appear fearless and disdainful of it, returned the serpent's skin 
with a stuffing of powder and shot. This significant message 
had the hoped-for effect. The echoes of the English fowling- 
pieces in the woods had already warned the Indians, that the 
new-comers possessed weapons which it might be hazardous to 
encounter with clubs and bows and arrows ; and the powder-and- 
shot response to their hostile messag-e, would seem to have con- 
firmed and deepened that impression. Friendly intercourse was 
renewed ; and peace with the Indian tribes generally might not 
for a long time have suffered the slightest interruption, but for 
occurrences over which the Plymouth colonists had no control. 
Thomas Weston, a merchant who had taken a share in the outfit 
of the Pilgrim Fathers solely from commercial considerations, 
obtained a grant in 1G23 — from what source we shall presently 
see — of a tract of land near where Weymouth, New England, now 
stands, and arrived to take possession, with about sixty com- 
panions, in the following year. Weston imagined that a profitable 
fur-trade might be organised there ; but neither he nor his people 
were made of the stuff necessary to the formation of men who 
would grapple successfully with the almost incredible obstacles 
opposed to early colonisation in the wilds of America. After a 
brief struggle, the attempt was abandoned, but not till after some 
of his men had quarrelled with and ill-treated a party of Indians, 
who naturally threatened reprisals. A confederacy was not only 
contemplated by several tribes, for the purpose of suddenly 
attacking the Plymouth as well as Mr AVeston's settlers, but 
nearly matured, when the gratitude of a sachem, whom Mr 
Winslow had succoured during a dangerous sickness, induced him 
to warn his benefactor of what was likely to occur. There was 
not a moment to be lost ; and Captain Miles Standish, taking with 
him only eight resolute men, marched at once upon the chief 
conspirators, attacked them unhesitatingly, obtained a complete 
victory, and returned in triumph, bearing a sachem's head, in 
token of l this capital exploit,' as it was termed. A glowing 
account of the affair was forwarded to the Rev. John Robinson, 
who was still at Leyden, anxiously waiting for means of reaching 
America with the remnant of his congTegation — a hope, by the 



'the pilgrim fathers.' 

way, never destined to be realised. His answer, instead of the 
expected gratulation, was a mild rebuke. ' How happy,' he wrote 
— • how happy a thing', if you had converted some before you 
killed any ! ' The ' exploit,' however, served to intimidate greatly 
the Indians, and that was an object of paramount importance. 
Then was another abortive attempt at colonisation in Massa- 
chusetts Bay — where the town of Quincy has since been built — 
by Captain "NVollaston, and one Merton, a lawyer of doubtful 
character. The failure was ludicrous. It was not by such hands 
as theirs that a New England was to arise in the American 
wilderni 

Spite of the severe trials to which it was exposed, the colony of 
New Plymouth took deep and permanent root in the unpromising" 
but tenacious soil ; and by 1G28 there was no longer any doubt 
entertained, either by the settlers themselves, or by their anxiously 
observant friends in England, that complete ultimate success was 
:ed. ' Out of small beginnings,' one of them wrote about this 
time, ' great things have been produced ; and as one small candle 
may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone to 
many, yea, in some sort, to our whole nation.' Yet so slow had 
been the growth of the settlement, so scanty the emigration 
up to that period, that it scarcely numbered 300 souls even then ; 
and it was not till that year that the first cattle — three heifers 
and a bull — were imported into the colony. Now, however, 
the main body of the Puritan Pilgrims began to prepare actively 
for following in the track of their courageous and devoted advanced 
guard. But before more fully adverting* to that important move- 
ment, and the politico-religious aspect of affairs in England by 
which it was hastened and confirmed, it will be necessary to say 
a few words upon the English governmental policy, as far as 
the king was concerned, relative to the colonisation of North 
America. 

The natural timidity of James's character — its prudential 
wisdom, writers who display a microscopic vision in the detection 
of such qualities in rulers, have termed it — prevented him from 
boldly asserting and enforcing those rights over vast portions of 
the New World, which, according to the law of nations, he might 
fairly claim in virtue of the discoveries of his subjects, or of former 
Englishmen, lest, peradventure, he might thereby come into 
collision with foreigners : with the Spaniard, who, not satisfied 
■with more than the lion's share of the southern half of the new 
continent, had begun, after a brief struggle with the French, to settle 
so far north as Florida, and was building St Augustine, which, by 
the way, is the oldest town in the United States ; with the Dutch, 
who were talking of a New Netherlands in the vast and fertile 
tracts drained by the Hudson and Connecticut rivers; or with 
the French, already busy in South Carolina. Still, his majesty, 
provided there was no risk, and a probable chance of benefit to 
the roval coffers, had no objection to encourage, so far as words, 

11 



THE PILGRIM FATHERS 



wax, and parchment would serve, the natural anxiety of his 
people to secure for Great Britain some portion at least of the 
vast countries which the genius of Columbus had opened to the 
enterju-i.se of Europe. With this view, the Council of Plymouth, 
Devonshire, consisting of forty noblemen and gentlemen, ' for 
the planting, ruling-, ordering, and governing New England in 
America/ was created by a royal patent, dated November 3, 1620, 
shortly after the departure of the Mayflower. By New England 
— a phrase borrowed of the Pilgrim Fathers — was meant the 
country extending- from 40 to 48 degrees of north latitude — from 
about New York to the Gulf of St Lawrence — and in westerly 
direction, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean : a wide domain 
no doubt, but of slight value to gentlemen disposed ' to live at 
home at ease,' unless they could induce a sufficient number of 
enterprising individuals to set earnestly about converting* a nominal 
and barren sovereignty into a real and fruitful one. The New 
Plymouth colony was, for a time, contemptuously ignored, and 
Weston's and Wollaston's patents having- resulted in loss and 
failure only, the Council attempted a bolder game in virtue of 
their delegated royal prerogative, which, but for the interposition 
of the parliament, the king''s necessities had obliged him to sum- 
mon, must have resulted in serious mischief. One Francis West 
was appointed admiral ; Robert Gorges, son of Sir F. Gorges, 
governor of Plymouth, lieutenant-governor ; and James Morrell, 
an episcopal clergyman, spiritual chief of New England. The 
admiral's powers extended from Cape Cod to Newfoundland ; the 
lieutenant-governor and spiritual chief had jurisdiction over the 
entire surface set forth in the Council's patent as New England ; 
and those naval, civil, and clerical officers were especially enjoined 
1 to drive away all interlopers' from their delegated dominions. 
These absurd assumptions were, as might have been expected, 
resisted by the English ships frequenting- the American coasts, 
and quietly set at nought by the Puritan settlers. When the 
matter was brought before the House of Commons, it was declared 
that the king's patent was an attempt to over-ride Magna Charta; 
inasmuch as it annulled the natural rights of British subjects, as 
set forth and consecrated by that celebrated instrument, which, it 
would seem from the argumentation of Sir Edward Coke and 
others, had been, with marvellous prevision, framed for the especial 
purpose of meeting the present exigency. ' Your patent,' said Sir 
Edward, then Speaker of the Commons, addressing himself to 
i Lieutenant-governor Gorges' — ' your patent contains many parti- 
culars contrary to the laws and privileges of the subject. It is a 
monopoly, and the ends of private gain are concealed under colour 
of planting a colony.' ' What ! 7 exclaimed the indignant Speaker 
at another sitting, ' shall none visit the sea-coast for fishing? If 
you alone are to pack and dry fish, you attempt a monopoly of the 
wind and the sun.' James was, of course, terribly wroth, and 
denounced parliaments and parliamentarians more bitterly than 



THE PILGRIM FATHERS. 7 

• 

ever ; but his anger availed nothing-, and the Council soon com- 
prehended that one course only was open to them, if they wished 
to render their privileges at all profitably available, which was, to 
abandon entirely their preposterous claim to vicarious sovereignty, 
exclusive fishing-rights, &c, and confer on parties really capable 
of carrying- on the work of colonisation — and if in favour with the 
parliamentary opposition, so much the better — a title to such lands 
as they might be able to plant and occupy within a reasonable 
period. An opportunity of acting upon this sensible resolve was 
not long in presenting itself. 

For a long time, the growing ferment and discontents of the 
English Puritans, and their anxiety to escape from the persecutions 
to which they were exposed, had been taken advantage of by the 
Rev. Mr White of Dorsetshire, and other eloquent and enthusiastic 
men, to u%e them on to a mighty effort at founding a great, 
English, Christian nation, in the dark and idolatrous regions of 
North America. 'Go out from amongst them, my people,' the 
apostles of the Puritan denomination everywhere iterated to willing 
audiences ; ' be ye not partakers of their plagues. Carry the pure 
light of the Gospel to the benighted pagan wilderness, where the 
faithful few that have gone before are already prospering in 
the holy work. A change of times in England, predicted by 
some amongst us, is a vain dream, and, should you be beguiled 
thereby, will prove a delusive snare. In this reig-n, it is 
admitted you have nothing to hope ; and what better may with 
reason be prophesied of that of Prince Charles, espoused to a 
Catholic wife, and supported, as he will be, by the nobility and 
gentry of two kingdoms.' Other, besides religious feelings, were 
appealed to, as the following extract from a publication, entitled 
Gencrall Considerations, in Answer to several Objections, on the 
Plantation of New England, curiously testifies : — ' The land grows 
weary of her inhabitants, so that man, which is the most precious 
of all creatures, is here more vile and base than the earth they 
tread upon, so as children, neighbours, and friends, especially of 
the poore, are counted the greatest burdens, which, if things were 
righte, would be the highest earthly blessings. . . . Hence it comes 
to passe, that all artes and trades are carried on in that deceitful 
manner and unrighteous course, as it is almost impossible for a 
good upright man to maintayne his chardge and live comfortably 
in any of them.' This declamatory reasoning was generally 
acquiesced in ; and an extensive emigrative association, chiefly from 
amongst the Puritans of Dorset, Devon, and Somerset, was zealously 
organised. Finally, an instrument, dated March 19, 1628, and 
entitled ' The Colony of Massachusetts Bay Patent,' was obtained 
from the Plymouth Council, by which 'all that part of North Ame- 
rica which lies and extends between Merrimac River and Charles's 
River, in the bottom of Massachusetts Bay, and three miles to the 
north and south of every part of Charles's River, and three miles 
south of the southernmost part of the said bay, and three miles to 

13 



'the pilgrim fathers.' 
• 
the north of every part of Merrimac River, and all lands and 
hereditaments whatsoever lying" within the limits aforesaid, north 
and south in latitude and breadth, and in length and longitude of 
and within all the breadth aforesaid throughout the main land ; 
thence from the Atlantic Sea, in the east part, to the Pacific Sea, 
in the west part/ was granted for the purpose of ' planting 
and settling,? to Sir Henry Rowsell, Sir John Youn^*, Thomas 
Southcoate, John Humphrey, John Endicot, Simon "YV hitcomb — 
all gentlemen of Dorsetshire ; and there were soon afterwards 
added to the list of the directorial committee the names of Win- 
throp, Dudley, Johnson, Bellingham, and others, all influential and 
generally wealthy men. This patent was confirmed under the 
Great Seal on the 4th of March 1629, by Charles I., a short time 
only before that monarch proclaimed his intention to rule without 
a parliament. • 

Neither this nor any other patent of the time conferred political 
or judicial power on the companies to whom they were granted. 
They appear to have been merely viewed as trading-, joint-stock 
associations, to whom, for the furtherance of trade and commerce, 
it was deemed advisable to concede certain territorial rights and 
privileges ; and yet, from the very first, the most exalted attributes, 
both legislative and judicial, were assumed, not only by the 
popularly elected governors of New Plymouth, but by the self- 
nominated magistrates of Massachusetts colony. The thoroug'hly 
oligarchical ' constitution' of Massachusetts, as concocted by those 
gentlemen, was, in its broad and simple outline, this : That the 
colony should be absolutely ruled by a governor, assisted by 
thirteen councillors, eight of whom, including the governor, were 
to be nominated by the Patentee Council, three others by those 
eight, and two by the general body of the colonists. This 
burlesque arrangement could not, in the nature of things, be 
permanent ; and as it was not long before the powers of the Home 
Patent Government were transferred to the stockholders resident 
in the colony, a satisfactory settlement of the question was speedily 
and quietly brought about. Much stress continued to be laid 
upon the desirableness, the duty rather, of propagating' the 
Gospel among the American aborigines. In illustration of this 
aim and view of the association, the colonial seal was an Indian 
erect, with arrows in his hand, and the words : ' Come and 
help me.' It was also over and over again declared, that the 
corner-stone, the vital principle, the very foundation of the 
colony of Massachusetts, was, in somewhat tautological phrase, 
' The freedom of liberty of conscience.' In what sense this 
was understood by the leaders, lay and clerical, of the Puritans, 
we shall presently have to relate. There was quite a rivalry at 
the time in such high-sounding professions. George Calvert, 
Lord Baltimore, a recent convert to Roman Catholicism, having 
obtained a patent from the crown for planting Maryland — the 
name was chosen by Queen Henrietta-Maria, Charles's wife — 

14 



'the pilgrim fathers.' 

refuge principally for his co-religionists, promised the freest 
toleration to all sects of Christian people. The oath which Lord 
Baltimore framed to be taken by himself and all succeeding- 
governors of Maryland; was as follows : ' I will not by myself or 
any other, directly or indirectly, molest any one professing to 
believe in Jesus Christ, on account of his religion.' This, no 
doubt, excludes Jews and iniidels ; but, at all events, as far as 
it was sacredly kept, and hence Maryland became the 
asylum not alone of Catholics driven out of England, but of 
Puritans escaping from Virginia. 

soon as the necessary means of transport were ready, John 
icot, a man of singular determination, but of far too fierce a 
in religious matters, was despatched, with about 300 colonists. 
11- owed the honour of this appointment to the unanimous opinion 
of his colleagues, that ' John Endicot was a fit instrument to 
commence this wilderness work.' He landed with his companions 
towards the end of June 16-29, on the neck of land now called 
( Iharlestown — a bleak and dreary wild at that time — where he found 
an independent English colony of four persons — three brothers of 
Dame of Sprague, and Waldron, a blacksmith, already located 
in i miserable hovel, the only habitation visible for miles around. 
John Endicot must have immediately perceived that if, as his 
friends ;it home flatteringly suggested, he had an especial aptitude 
for ' wilderness work,' there was unquestionable scope for the 
exercise of that precious gift before him. The first experience 
of the new-comers was nearly as disastrous as that of the earlier 
Pilgrims, notwithstanding that the Plymouth colonists afforded all 
the help in their power : but that, in a material sense, was of course 
trifling:, poor, needy, and struggling as themselves still were. By 
the following year, 80 of the 300 had died, yet did not those 
left behind abate one jot of heart or hope. The work proceeded 
earnestly, though slowly ; Salem, the first town in Massachusetts, 
and second in New England, was commenced, and no doubt was 
expressed or entertained of an ultimately successful issue to their 
high-reaching enterprise. In this spirit John Endicot wrote 
home, urging, in strong terms, the folly, the unreasonableness, 
the danger, the guilt of further procrastination. 

In the spring of 1G30, the main body of the first Puritan 
emigrants, about 1600 in all, including 180 servants, were ready 
for embarkation. A fleet of seventeen ships had been prepared, 
and nothing remained but to go on board, weigh anchor, and make 
sail for the West. Amongst this large draft from the English 
middle-classes, there was a slight sprinkling of English female 
nobility, as well as a goodly proportion of the gentry of the 
kingdom. Lady Arabella, the wife of Mr Isaac Johnson, the 
richest of the colonists, was the sister of the Earl of Lincoln ; and 
the wives of John Humphrey, the Rev. Messrs Sharman, Bulkley, 
and Whiting, w r ere daughters of noblemen : delicately nurtured as 
these ladies must have been, it was not amongst them that doubt, 

15 



'the tilgrim fathers/ 

irresolution, fear of encountering the perils of the great deep — 
differently estimated now than at that time — begun to be mani- 
fested as the hour of departure drew near. It was amongst the 
leading men that this faintheartedness appeared, several of whom 
abandoned the enterprise at the last moment. On the very eve of 
embarkation, at the last court held at Southampton, it was found 
necessary to elect three substitutes in the place of the same number 
of the Council added to the list of defaulters, and, when absolutely 
on board, they had to choose a new lieutenant-governor in the 
place of John Humphrey. 

All obstacles at length removed or overcome, the emigrants who 
remained constant to their purpose all safely embarked at different 
ports. At Southampton, when the looked-for signal from the 
Arabella, enforced by the discharge of ordnance, flew aloft — the 
anchors were lifted amidst the lusty cheering of the crews, echoed 
again and again by the crowds which thronged the long line of 
beach, the platform, quays, and house-tops of Southampton, and, 
less densely, the shores of Netley and the New Forest ; and the 
gallant ships — their white wings unfolded for the long flight across 
the Atlantic, glittering in the golden light of a cloudless morning 
of spring — swept swiftly down the river. During a great part of 
the previous night, and of the early morning, the self-exiled Puri- 
tans had been listening with kindling pulse and flashing eyes to the 
exhortations of their ministers, and other speech-gifted brethren, 
in which, as ever, there mingled with diviner teachings fierce 
denunciations of the state corruptions, the state idolatries (in their 
vocabulary), the state tyrannies, from which they were about to 
flee; but as the sympathising shouts of their countrymen rang 
over the waters, and the English shores receded from their view, 
the stern aspect of the deck-crowding exiles visibly, rapidly softened, 
and it was not long before — according to the testimony of one of 
the most zealous and prejudiced amongst them — the fiery pulse 
was checked, the angry, flashing glance quenched in the gushing 
memories of home, kindred, country ; and instead of l Farewell 
Rome,' ' Farewell Babylon,' as they had thought to have uttered, 
the last broken, passionate exclamation of the departing enthu- 
siasts was : * Farewell, dear, dear England ! ' followed by fervent 
supplications to the God of Israel, that He would protect and 
bless and redeem her people! Governor Winthrop embarked at 
Yarmouth, just previous to which he thus expressed himself: 
* Our hearts shall be fountains of tears for your everlasting welfare, 
when we shall be in our poor cottages in the wilderness ! ' 

On and about the 12th of Juh', the fleet arrived safely in New 
England. The new-comers found one house, and some dozens 
of completed hovels, but of course neither church, nor town, nor 
street, nor road, either at Charlestown or at Salem. They pitched 
their tents on Charlestown Hill, and the first place of worship was 
under a large spreading tree, the Rev. Mr Warham, i a famous 
preacher,' of Exeter, officiating at the initiatory service. Work, 

16 



'the pilgrim fathers. ' 

resolute work, was at once zealously organised, and before long*, 
houses, villages, towns, cities, began to uprear themselves in all 
directions. Where Boston now stands, one William Blaxton — 
somewhat of an original and impracticable sort of man — had pre- 
viously located himself and family: he lost no time in shifting- his 
quarters after Governor Winthrop's arrival, out of the range of the 
Massachusetts patent. ' I left England,' said Blaxton, 'to escape 
the tyranny of the Lord Bishops, and I leave Massachusetts to be 
free of the discipline of the Lord Brethren.' The courage and 
perseverance of the new settlers were, as with their predecessors, 
sorely tried. The mortality amongst them, previously terrible, 
was enormously increased by a famine which commenced in the 
February following their arrival in America. Very soon there 
was not a particle of bread left, save in the governor's house, and 
the sole support of the colonists was clams, mussels, ground-nuts, 
and acorns. Two hundred died, one hundred were permanently 
discouraged, and as quickly as possible returned to England. 
Had it not been for the opportune return of a vessel which the 
governor had despatched to the nearest port of Ireland for pro- 
visions, the consequences must have been irretrievably calamitous. 
Lady Arabella .Johnson was amongst the earliest victims; and her 
husband soon followed, from grief, it is said, at her loss, aggra- 
vated, no doubt, by the gloomy, dispiriting aspect of the enterprise 
upon which he had lavished both wealth and personal exertion. As 
a general rule, however, the suffering's and privations endured by 
the colonists, served only to inflame their zeal and harden their con- 
stancy. Even children seem to have caught the enthusiastic spirit 
of the v>ne, and to have whispered consolation with their dying 
breath to w ceping- parents, bidding them be of good heart, ' remem- 
bering why they came thither.' There may possibly be some 
exaggeration in all this; but it is, at all events, abundantly clear, 
that the unaided colonists bravely wrestled with and triumphantly 
overcame the apparently insuperable obstacles which beset them at 
the outset of their gigantic undertaking. So rapid, indeed, was 
the progress of the New Englanders, and so constant the immigra- 
tion of the Puritans from Old England, that a wish * to enlarge 
their borders ' was very early manifested by the citizens of Massa- 
chusetts. Towards the close of 1031, an application was made to 
the authorities by an Indian sachem, entreating them to establish 
settlements on the Connecticut River (Quonehtacut — long river), 
principally, it seemed, in order to assist him and his tribe against 
the fierce and conquering* ' Pequod ' race of savages. There was 
much to tempt, and something to deter in this project. Otter and 
bear skins might be obtained in great numbers there : the lands 
were fertile, and deer, moose, fat bears, turkeys, partridges, quails, 
pigeons, widgeons, sheldrakes, teal, lobsters, oysters, etcetera, 
abundant beyond belief. On the other hand, the Dutch had 
begun to found a settlement there, an incipient New Netherlands, 
and the Indians were numerous and hostile, the Pequods especially. 

17 



'THE PILGRIM FATHEB 

As to the Dutch, who, our Puritan Fathers coolly alleged, ' were 
always mere intruders/ they might, it was believed, be successfully 
dealt with ; and with regard to the hostile savages, that was a danger 
which must sooner or later be confronted and overcome, either by 
reason or by force — by the former weapon, if possible ; but if not, 
assuredly by the latter. 

The proceedings of the Council of Plymouth (England) stimu- 
lated the ardour of the colonists. They, the Council, made a grant, 
on the 19th of March 1631, to the Earl of Warwick, of so much 
of Connecticut as was comprised within 41° to 42° of north lati- 
tude, and 72° to 73° 45' of west longitude. The earl transferred 
his patent to Lord Say and Sele, and there was no lack of settlers 
to convert the dead parchment fiction into a hving practical fact. 
It was all to no purpose that the Dutchmen pleaded the authority 
of their High Mightinesses of Holland. Their High Mightinesses, 
it was replied, had no more right to New England — and was not 
Connecticut indisputably a part of New England, though as yet 
not formally taken possession of I — than they had to Old England. 
By way of a practical protest against the intolerable assumption 
of the Hollanders, the governor of New Plymouth, Mr Winslow, 
despatched William Holmes in a small merchant-vessel, manned 
by a picked crew of valiant men of war — if reluctantly driven to 
the use of carnal weapons — with orders to erect the frame-house 
which he took with him somewhere upon the fertile banks of the 
Connecticut. The Dutch fancied they had sufficiently prepared 
for an attempt of this kind by the erection of a fort, mounted 
with two pieces of cannon, near the entrance of the river. Stout 
William Holmes snapped his fingers at the fort, sailed past without 
material damage, and landed on the west bank of the river, at a 
place subsequently named Hartford. He next purchased a quantity 
of land of some Indian sachems, who declared themselves the 
rightful owners thereof, in equity, at all events, if not in law 
and fact — the allies of the Dutch, the savage Pequods, having 
forcibly dispossessed them some time previously. Under such 
circumstances, it is not, we presume, likely that the purchase- 
money could have been very heavy; but be that as it may, 
William Holmes completed his bargain, took the contracting 
sachems under his protection, and immediately commenced erect- 
ing his frame-house upon the newly-acquired property, which 
he named ' New Windsor.' The Dutch governor, Jacob van 
Curten, protested against the re-transfer of land purchased by 
Dutch settlers of his good friends the Pequods ; but finding the 
trespassers stolidly indifferent to * protests/ he sent Walter van 
Twiller, in command of seventy armed men, against them. This 
force advanced towards New Windsor with ' banners displayed ; ' 
but when within view of Wilham Holmes's palisades, and the 
protruding musket-muzzles from the loopholes of New Windsor, 
Walter van Twiller and his friends decided, after consultation, 
upon returning to Jacob van Curten for further instructions, and 

18 



' THE PILGRIM FATHERS.' 

did not think proper to reappear. In this simple and practical 
manner it was that the Puritan settlement of Connecticut became 
an irreversible fact ; and this notwithstanding that, as some assert, 
other emigrants — amongst whom were Mr lenwick and the Rev. 
John Peters — had before successfully located themselves on the 
disputed territory. 

In the same month and year (September 1633), the Rev. Mr 
Hooker, a renowned preacher from Chelmsford, Essex, arrived 
in New England. l Now, 7 exclaimed this exceedingly popular 
gentleman — ' Son of Thunder' he was called by his more especial 
admirers — addressing- the people who crowded to welcome him — 
* now I live, if ye stand fast in the Lord ! ' He soon afterwards 
threw himself heart and soul into the Connecticut movement, and 
of course greatly increased the feeling- in favour of that settlement. 
The Council of Massachusetts, sitting- at Boston, now the recog- 
l capital of the state, were alarmed at the prospect of so large 
a defection, and requested the Rev. Cotton Mather to preach 
■gainst the scheme — the ordinary resource with them in times of 
difficulty. In this case, however, the expedient did not produce 
the desired effect : the emigration went on ; and the following 
year, Massachusetts consented to the establishment of Connecticut, 
on condition that it should remain under, or at least in connection 
with, the Massachusetts jurisdiction. Shortly after this decision, 
the Rev. Mr Hooker removed from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to 
Hartford, in Connecticut, accompanied through the intervening 
swamps and forests by a considerable number of settlers and their 
families. Driving their cattle before them, the hardy Puritans 
forced their fearless way through a tangled and pathless wilder- 
. swarming with savages, rendering the woods vocal as they 
toiled along with the strains of the Psalmist, and occasionally 
halting to listen to the fervid declamation of their reverend chief, 
who, although so ill that he was obliged to be carried on a litter, 
had still strength enough to thunder forth eloquent exhortations 
to press forward in the steep and thorny path of duty and holiness, 
and fierce denunciations of God's wrath upon backsliders and 
lukewarm adherents of the great cause intrusted to their zeal. 
Thus sustained and encouraged, the journey, a painful and 
exhausting one, was accomplished not only in safety, but much 
more speedily than had been anticipated. 

The Connecticut settlement progressed with giant strides ; but it 
was not long before the Indian danger became more and more 
palpable and menacing. Whatever may have been said to the 
contrary, there can be no reasonable doubt in the minds of unpre- 
judiced persons, that the New England Puritans were heartily 
disposed to treat the natives of North America with kindness, 
forbearance, and consideration, and were, moreover, for a consider- 
able time, sanguine of converting a goodly number at least of the 
neighbouring tribes to Christianity. In 1633, when the small- 
pox broke out with great virulence amongst them, nothing could 

19 



'the pilgrim fathers.' 

exceed the care and attention lavished upon the sufferers by the 
Puritans of all ranks. But the favour or indifference with which 
the savages, confiding- in their overwhelming' numbers, had looked 
upon the tiny settlement of Plymouth, changed gradually to 
misgiving and fear as the rapid increase of the Pale-faces warned 
them, that not a few adventurers merely, as they had at first 
supposed, but a "Teat nation, was settling- upon their sea-board. 
This inimical and growing- feeling was especially observable 
amongst the Pequods, a turbulent race, who had established them- 
selves, by conquest over weaker tribes, from Nehamtuck to 
Narrag-anset Bay. The Narragansets were also very numerous, 
but as yet friendly ; so apparently were the Mohawks, and the 
tribe of Mohegans — spelt Mohicans by Cooper — commanded by a 
celebrated sagamore of the name of Uncas. In Connecticut alone 
there were supposed to be 20,000 Indians ! And these were only 
the near, bordering tribes — the straggling outposts, as it were, of 
the vast masses which in all probability peopled the interior of 
the bug-e American continent. This immeasurable peril — such it 
literally was — must have constantly pressed with terrible weight 
upon the councils of New Eng-land, well knowing as they did, 
that their only earthly reliance was — first, on their own prudence ; 
next, on the deadly feuds between the savage tribes themselves ; 
and, in the last extremity, on the superiority of their arms, and 
the firm resolution of every man in the colony to wield them 
valiantly whenever the sad necessity for doing- so should arise. As 
to help from England in any extremity, that, it was felt, in the 
then condition of the kingdom, could not be hoped for. These 
considerations should in fairness be borne in mind, when we come, 
as we presently shall, to some startling- passages in the first war 
waged between the Indians and colonists. They will account for, 
and in some degTee palliate, much that otherwise would be without 
the shadow of excuse. In 1G36, that war had become inevitable. 
The murderous ferocity of the Pequods, inflamed by impunity, 
must, it had become quite clear, be resolutely checked, or soon no 
one's life would be safe. Two merchant captains, Norton and 
Stone, with their crews, had been treacherously surprised and 
murdered. An apology had been accepted for this ruthless deed, 
which was not long afterwards followed by the assassination of 
a Mr Oldham. Upon this, John Endicot was sent with an armed 
force against Block Island, in the hope of terrifying- the Pequods 
into respect for the lives of the colonists. The expedition proved 
a failure ; and worse, infinitely worse than that, reliable intelligence 
reached Boston, to the effect that the chiefs of the principal neigh- 
bouring tribes were about to hold a conference, at the instance of 
the Pequods, with a view to patch up all feuds amongst them- 
selves, and unite as one man to expel or destroy the intruding 
colonists ! As this dark rumour flew from mouth to mouth, the 
name of the only man who could effectually aid them in such an 
extremity Hashed instantly across the minds, and trembled on the 
20 



'THE PILGRIM FATHERS.' 

lips of the startled colonists — that of Roger Williams, of the 
brave, good man, whom they had weakly, tamely permitted their 
intolerant rulers to hound forth of the colony but a few months 
previously. Where could he now be found I And if found, could 
it be expected that, returning good for evil, he would hasten to 
the assistance of those by whom he had been so despitefully, 
cruelly treated ? Yes — yes ; let him only be sought out, and the 
fearless and eloquent apostle of toleration, charity, forgiveness, 
love to all mankind, would, no one for an instant doubted, illus- 
trate by his own practice the divine teachings that had occasioned 
his barbarous and illegal banishment. 

The name of Roger Williams — the greatest, noblest of the 
emigrant Puritans, a true hero in the highest meaning of that 
much-abused word — might well at such a crisis strike the minds 
of the colonists with a sense of grief and shame. He was a young* 
Welsh preacher of singular gifts and remarkable eloquence, who 
arrived in the colony in 1G31, and found, to his infinite surprise 
and dismay, that the same system of religious persecution — 
differing' only in its shibboleths mid watchwords — from which he 
had fled to the shelter of the wilderness, was established there, 
in its fullest intensity, under democratic sanction. That thi3 is no 
exaggeration, a few words will suffice to demonstrate. The actual 
government of ..Massachusetts, including Plymouth and Con- 
necticut, was n democratic, spiritual hierarchy. The male adults 
of the colony who were church-communicants — in actual, not 
suspended communion — elected the governor, magistrates, and 
law givers annually ; and it was a fundamental principle, that all 
laws should be in accordance with the Scripture, as interpreted by 
the ministers and elders of the congregations ; and any omissions 
in the settled code were to be supplied from the same source, under 
the same direction. No other than the Puritan form of worship 
w;is on any pretence to be tolerated; and absence from divine 
service, without good and sufficient excuse — dangerous sickness 
only, by the by — was punishable by fine and imprisonment. The 
penalties consequent upon any infringement, by word or deed, of 
any portion of this fundamental intolerance were, in the first years 
of the colony, fine, whipping, imprisonment, banishment ; but, as 
the spirit of opposition waxed stronger, more stringent expedients 
were unsparingly resorted to for the purpose of putting it down ; 
till, at last — it seems almost incredible that truth should compel us 
to write such things of exiles for conscience' sake — sentence of 
torture and death was pronounced — ay, and executed too — upon 
stubborn heretics to the Puritan establishment ! In the first year 
of Governor Winthrop's arrival, two brothers, Samuel and John 
Browne, attempted to use the Book of Common Prayer ; but this 
was at once pronounced to be an atrocious heresy, and Samuel and 
John Browne were packed off to England without delay. This 
spirit of intolerance was as yet in its infancy when Roger 
Williams arrived in the colony; and he quickly discerned and 

21 



1 THE PILGRIM FATHERS.' 

denounced, with the fervid eloquence of which he was so great a 
master, not only its inherent wickedness, but the frightful lengths 
to which, if persisted in, it must necessarily lead. It was soon 
found that the young' Welshman could not be treated in the 
off-handed manner adopted towards the Brownes; crowds of 
colonists attended his discourses, and applauded the fierce denun- 
ciations which he hurled at the blind and inconsistent men who 
sought to re-enact in America the very tyranny from which they had 
fled there to escape. The toleration of Roger Williams embraced 
all sects, all classes, all nations — the Catholic, Episcopalian, 
Socinian, Jew, Infidel, all were included ; nay, he had patience 
even with the absurd idolatries of the Indian savages, whose 
earnest champion in all just claims he soon became. And the 
worst of it was — in the estimation of the authorities — that it 
would be quite useless, or worse, to insinuate any charge of 
infidelity against this Rog-er Williams, whose influence increased 
so rapidly, that, in the words of the Rev. Cotton Mather, a quaint 
historian of the colony, ' the windmill in the young- Welshman's 
head seemed likely to turn everything- topsy-turvy in the settle- 
ment.' The preaching- of this gifted and fervent man seems to 
have been but a prolong-ed and varied paraphrase of the first 
sentence of the eternal words upon the Mount : ' Judge not, that 
ye be not judg-ed ! ' ' Enforce attendance at church ! ? he on one 
occasion exclaimed, l why, that is to mock God in his very temple 
by the worship of hypocrites ! As well apparel a corpse in new 
garments, and think you have breathed into it the breath of life, 
as force an unwilling- mind to worship its Creator. No one should 
be bound to attend — nay, no one be bound to support any form of 
relig-ion ag-ainst his own consent.' 

1 What ! ' cried his opponents, ' is not the labourer worthy of his 
hire ? ' 

1 Yes, from those that hire him. 7 

This would never do; and the Boston authorities, Winthrop 
and others, who, in consequence of their great services, and high 
standing- in every respect in the colony, were possessed of vast 
moral, almost despotic authority, determined to finish with Roger 
Williams. The ministers were assembled, and they declared that 
* whoever denied the authority of the civil magistrate to extirpate 
heresy, was worthy of banishment.' This project of law was of 
course directed against the popular young Welshman, who imme- 
diately afterwards was chosen by the people of Salem to be their 
preacher. This was esteemed a grievous affront to the ruling body ; 
and, as a punishment, a considerable quantity of land to which 
Salem was entitled, was withheld from it. Severer measures were 
in contemplation ; and Williams took the bold step of writing to 
the congregations, urging them to 'admonish' their representatives 
as to the folly and wickedness they were about to commit. A cry 
of ' treason ! ' was immediately raised, and Salem was disfranchised 
till it should repudiate its preacher, which, after a time, it was 

22 



1 THE PILGRIM FATHERS.' 

intimidated, morally coerced into doing-. More — Williams's very 
wife was so wrought upon, as for a time to forsake him ; but nothing- 
could shake, much less subdue, the brave man's constancy, and it was 
finally resolved to send him by force to England. For this purpose, 
he was summoned before the Council : he disobeyed the summons, 
and an armed pinnace was sent to Salem to secure him. The bird 
had flown — had been gone three days : when the officers arrived, 
Williams was traversing the wilderness alone on foot, through 
frost and snow — this occurred in the winter of 1635 — towards the 
Indian settlements, not merely for the purpose of sheltering himself 
from the vengeance of the New England magistrates, but to procure 
authority and means for accomplishing the prime object of his life 
— the establishment of an American colony ' which should really 
be a shelter for persons distressed for conscience' sake.' ' For 
fourteen weeks,' he afterwards wrote, ' was I tossed in a bitter 
season, not knowing what bed or bread did mean.' He was kindly 
received, and, so far as their means went, hospitably entertained 
by the Narragansets, and he applied himself diligently, whilst 
with them, to perfect himself in their dialect. ' The ravens,' he 
exclaims, ' fed me in the wilderness ; ' and so completely did he 
win upon the favour of his savage entertainers, ' that the barbarous 
heart of Canonicus loved him as his own son till his last breath.' 
Williams, in pursuance of his cherished purpose, first pitched his 
tent at Seekonk ; but hearing that it was included in the New 
England jurisdiction, crossed over to Rhode Island, and settled on 
a spot which he named ' Providence.' Soon afterwards, an Indian 
deed from Canonicus and Miantonimoh transferred to him the 
entire island — of which, now populous and prosperous state, this 
greatest of the Pilgrim Fathers thus became the founder and 
lawgiver. 

In the following winter (1C36), the breathless messenger of 
the Massachusetts authorities arrived at Providence. i Would 
Mr Williams exert his influence with the Narragansets to prevent 
the coalition between them and the Pequods, by which the very 
existence of the colony was menaced ? ' ' Would he ? ' Ay, surely 
so, and that without a moment's delay. It was blowing hard at 
the time, but Roger Williams put off at once in a ' poor canoe y 
from the island, reached the opposite shore in safet} r , and once 
more speeded through the frost-bound wilderness to the camp of 
the Narragansetsi He arrived but just in time, for the Pequods 
were already there, and both Canonicus and Miantonimoh had 
received their advances favourably. For three days did Roger 
Williams exert every faculty of reasoning and eloquence that 
lie possessed, to dissuade the Narragansets from accepting the 
proposed alliance — for three nights sleep calmly within reach of 
the knives of the exasperated Pequods. He succeeded : the 
Narragansets determined on holding fast by their agreement with 
the English; the baffled Pequods were dismissed, and Williams 
returned to Providence. 

23 



'the pilgrim fathers.' 

Notwithstanding this ominous failure, the Pequods, emboldened 
by their groat fame as warriors, determined to make war upon the 
Pale-faces, thoug-h they should stand alone in the contest. With 
true Indian cunning-, they contrived to force the colonists to 
attack them on their own territory, where, from their necessarily 
superior acquaintance with the ground, and other advantages, they 
anticipated a comparatively easy victory. With this view, two 
more Eng-lishmen, Tilly and Buttertield, were murdered, and war 
was instantly resolved upon, first by Connecticut, and quickly 
afterwards by Massachusetts. The 'army' of Connecticut was 
iixed at 90 men, of whom Hartford w r as required to furnish 4*2, 
New Windsor 30, and Weatherfield 18. The Massachusetts and 
Plymouth contingent was estimated at about 100 men ; but these 
were not waited for. On the 10th of May 1636, the Kev. Mr 
Hooker, after a solemn appeal to the Lord of Hosts, placed the 
staff of command in the hands of Captain Mason ; and the 
expeditionary force, which, when joined by the whole of its Indian 
allies, reached the respectable number of 350 presumably fig-hting-- 
men — 90 Eng-lish ; 200 Narrag-ansets, under Miantonimoh ; and 
60 Moheg-ans, commanded byUncas — sailed direct for Narrag-anset 
Bay, the object being- to attack Fort Mystic, a strong-hold of the 
Pequods. As they neared the fort, its formidable reputation, as 
well as that of the warlike race who occupied it, told sensibly upon 
the courage of the Indian contingent ; and when the push came, 
the colonists had all the fig-hting- part of the business to themselves. 
The 'fort' was simply a rude mud-wall, enclosing- some hundred 
Indian wig-warns : the assault, two hours before dawn, was 
vigorous, and thoroug-hly successful, so far as penetrating- into the 
enclosure went ; but the hand-to-hand encounter which ensued 
amidst the wig-warns with 700 or 800 Pequod warriors, was a 
desperate and unequal one. Captain Mason, with the ready and 
ruthless decision of a soldier in such a crisis, exclaimed : ' We 
must burn them ! ' The order was obeyed, the Eng-lish, at the 
same time, spreading- themselves in a circle round the devoted 
enclosure. The weather was sultry, the wig-warns dry as tinder, 
and the flames consequently spread with terrible rapidity. The 
Pequods, unable to arrest the prog-ress of the flames, burst through 
them with one only frantic hope — that of escape. A vain one ! 
The dark forms of the Indians, as they sprang- out of the smoke 
and fire, were mercilessly shot down ; and when the sun arose, 600 
Pequods, according- to Captain Mason's report, lay dead around the 
smouldering- embers of their fort and dwelling-s. The women and 
children that were taken alive were either, with others subsequently 
captured, employed as domestic slaves in the colony, or sent for 
sale to Jamaica. A body of 200 or 300 Pequods that arrived 
subsequently within view of the terrible scene, tore their hair with 
grief and rag-e at the unexpected sig-lit. Their own fate was a 
similar one. The Massachusetts contingent was equally successful, 
and still more pitiless. It was commanded by the Rev. Mr Wilson 

24 



'THE PILGRIM FATHERS. 7 

and a Mr Slaughter, and, by aid of some Narragansets, managed 
large number of Pequods in a swamp — the 'Battle of 
the Swamp' the fight was called — in which all were shot down but 
eighty prisoners, thirty of whom being- males, were, with the excep- 
tion <if two sachems, immediately put to death. The sachems were 
respited, because they promised to lead the victors to another assured 
and easy triumph over their own people ; but the victors, rinding", as 
they approached Guildford, that this promise was of no value, the 
sachems were forthwith beheaded. This is the origin of the name 
of ' Sachem's Head,' by which the spot where the barbarous deed 
was performed is now called. In tine, the Pequod race was utterly 
destroyed — annihilated; and the terrific example so dismayed the 
Indian tribes, that, till Philipp's formidable war, many years after, 
not a hand was raised by the aborigines against the English 
colonists. 

In order to have done at once with all transactions that fall within 

scope of this paper, between the Indian tribes and the Puritan 

emigrants, we relate here the circumstances that have given rise to 

so many comments connected with the death of Miantonimoh. In 

1642, Miantonimoh quarrelled with Uncas, the sagamore of the 
Mohegans, and a battle ensued, in which the Narragansets were 
defeated. Stung- by his discomfiture, Miantonimoh is said to have 
hired a Pequod to assassinate Uncas. The Pequod failed; con- 

<l who employed him ; and Miantonimoh, in order to get rid 
of his evidence, contrived to murder the Pequod on the road 
between Boston and Narraganset. All this, be it remembered, 
Miantonimoh to the last denied, and the main facts rest upon no 
better authority than that of Uncas, his implacable enemy. In 

1643, Uncas applied to the l Commissioners of the United Colo- 
nies,' in whose power Miantonimoh then was, to deliver up his 
enemy, in order that he, Uncas, might put him to death. This 
application, after much cogitation and delay, was complied with. 
The reasons of the commissioners for thus acting, and the stipu- 
lations they made as to how and where the act of vengeance 
should be performed, read strangely : — ' That as Uncas could 
not be safe whilst Miantonimoh lived, he might justly put such 
a false and blood-thirsty enemy to death, but the commissioners 
advise that no torture be used, and insist that the execution shall 
not take place within the English settlements.' In pursuance of 
this decree, Miantonimoh, the constant friend and protector of 
Roger Williams, was delivered into the hands of Uncas, who, 
the moment he saw his bound and helpless foe, leaped exultingly 
towards him, ' split his head with an axe,' and then ' cut a large 
piece out of his shoulder, and ate it with great relish!' The 
sanguinary savage merely obeyed his brutal instincts; but the 
conduct of the commissioners in this matter, spite of all the 
ingenious excuses that have been suggested in their behalf, will 
not only remain for ever obnoxious to unqualified censure for its 
manifest illegalitv, but the motive bv which they were animated 

25 



' THE PILGRIM FATHERS.' 

in coming' to such a decision, will always appear gravely question- 
able to every man who carefully ponders all the circumstances 
attendant upon, and inextricably connected with it. 

Reverting* to our brief outline of the civil progress of the Pilgrim 
Puritans, we find that the banishment of Roger Williams has not 
(1636) restored religious peace to New England. The prophetic 
warning- of the eloquent exile seemed likely to be more quickly 
realised than he himself had probably anticipated. ' You begin,' 
he had said, ' by reviling the erring- brother, you will end by 
hanging him, for in that path there is no halting-place.' Anne 
Hutchinson — a woman of courage, considerable force of intellect 
and power of language, and impressed with peculiar doctrinal 
Tiews, of which we have nothing to say — was the next popular 
exponent of the antagonistic feeling* growing up amongst the 
colonists against the intolerant ' establishment ' of New England. 
' Like Roger Williams, or worse,' she was pronounced by the 
settled ministers of the colony to be. Of course, her strong, and, 
in a logical point of view, impregiiable position, when arraigned 
for ' heresy ' before those ' ushers of persecution,' as she presumed 
to call the lay and clerical rulers of the colony, was that furnished 
by their own example. ' If what you say of the sin of schism be 
true,' exclaimed the fearless woman, ' why did you not submit to 
the prelates of the English church ? ' i We uphold truth,' it was 
replied : ' God forbid we should be so weak as to tolerate error.' 
' Truth ! error ! ' rejoined Anne Hutchinson ; ' ah ! I see you are 
already familiar with the devil's horn-book ! That has been the 
language of persecutors in all ages of the world.' It was useless 
arguing. The magistrates were predetermined to put down all 
heresies by force, since persuasion would not avail ; and Anne 
Hutchinson was ultimately banished, and at the same time 
warned, that if she dared return, her punishment would probably 
— so far had they gone already — be death ! There is no end to 
the chameleon colours in which sincere, well-meaning bigotry 
strives to conceal from the world, and chiefly from itself, its 
unchangeably hideous front. The excuse offered to themselves 
and others by the New England inquisition in this instance was, 
** that Anne Hutchinson had weakened the hands and hearts of 
the people towards their ministers.' The celebrated Sir Harry 
Vane was in the colony about this time. He had been received 
by all classes in a very flattering manner, and invested with chief 
office ; but his popularity continued only with the lower classes 
and the protesters against religious persecution. He throughout 
sided with the Anne Hutchinson party ; and as to the law of 
banishment, he denounced it in unmeasured terms. ' Scribes and 
Pharisees.' exclaimed Sir Harry Vane, l and all such, are not to be 
denied cohabitation, but are to be pitied and reformed : Ishmael 
shall dwell in the presence of his brethren.' He might as well 
have reasoned with the winds ; and it was not very long before 
he returned to England, much to the relief of the thorough-going 

26 



'THE PILGRIM FATHERS.' 

intolerant* of the colony. Mrs Anne Hutchinson, who, I have 
omitted to mention, was strongly suspected of witchcraft — a 
Satanic propensity just then epidemical in the old as well as the 
New World — although perfectly decisive proofs thereof could not 
. took refuge in Rhode Island, where she for a time 
laboured with Roger Williams in the founding of that state, the 
Bignet-seal of which they agreed should be a sheaf of arrows — 

■ bundle of sticks/ sharpened — with the motto : Amor vincct 
omnia. One of her sons — she was married, and had a somewhat 
numerous family — and her son-in-law, Collins, were not so fortu- 
They had the audacity to remonstrate with the Boston 
authorities upon the treatment Mrs Hutchinson had met with, 
and got rewarded for this filial zeal by a long and rigorous 
imprisonment. 

It will no doubt strike the reader as remarkably strange that if, 
as we have intimated, the feeling of the Puritan people was, in 

main, opposed to such outrageous proceedings, they could, 
under a democratic system of government, have been persisted in. 
The explanation is an easy one. and will be admitted to be quite 
sufficient by every man that ha.- had an opportunity of estimating 
the potency of certain catch-words upon the masses of mankind. 
From tin very first establishment of .M;i>.-achusetts, a 'national 7 
• > n> -peak, was very apparent amongst the colonists; and 
the minis! irs and chief men ot Boston, Salem, Plymouth, and 
other towns, took care to identify themselves intimately and cor- 
dially with it. They framed what was called ' The Freeman's 
Oath.' by which all candidates for office of any kind swore fidelity 

the institutions of Massachusetts only, all mention of any 
authority beyond the sea being studiously avoided. The parties 
punishea b\ the magistrates very naturally threatened an appeal 
to the English crown, which had delegated no such powers — Rog*er 
Williams was the only 'culprit'" who did not dispute the legal 
power of the colonial authorities — and an immediate cry of l treason' 

inst the • rights ' of the colony was successfully raised. In the 
elections which took place not long after Anne Hutchinson's 
sentence, the cries of k Toleration for ever ! ' ' Let us allow to 
others what we claim for ourselves ! ' were met by ' Massachusetts 
and independence for ever! 7 'No Star-chamber appeals!' The 
self-flattering illusions of a blind and senseless nationality induced 
them, against their better feelings, to take part with the appeal- 
menaced authorities, who were, though by narrow majorities, 
confirmed in their functions, which, in consequence of the exaspe- 
ration sure to be engendered by a powerful and irritating, but 
unsuccessful opposition, they abused more recklessly than before ; 
arid fining, imprisoning, whipping, and banishing, in the names 
of Truth and Faith, w r ent on at a great rate, with, however, only 
one visible eifect — that of peopling ' contumacious Rhode Island' 
with many of the best citizens of New England. Anne Hutchin- 
son herself did not long remain there. Fearing for her family 

27 



' THE PILGRIM FATHERS.' 

much more than for herself, thnt they were not safe from the ever- 
menacing" clutch of the New England rulers, she removed to the 
Dutch settlers' territory. There, one fearful night, her dwelling, 
with others, was surprised and fired, and herself and family, all 
but one child, murdered by ruthless savages. 

The English votaries of freedom of conscience seemed deter- 
mined to allow the New England exiles for conscience' sake no 
rest or peace. One lady came to them all the way from London, 
for the sole purpose of remonstrating against the persecuting 
doings in the colony. This rashly indignant person received 
twenty stripes for her pains, and an immediate passage home 
again. Next, Mary Dyar and Anne Burder, two of the sect of 
Quakers, and overflowing with the fresh liveliness, the young 
enthusiasm of a newly-inaugurated mission, arrived out with the 
express design of denouncing the formalism of the Puritan 
worship, and defying the vengeance of its ministers. Anne Burder, 
after the infliction of a reasonable quantum of ' wholesome dis- 
cipline' — we cannot tell the precise amount, but there is no doubt 
Anne Burder could and did for some time afterwards — was 
reconveyed, unmistakably endorsed therewith, to the plague- 
teeming island she had unwisely quitted. Mary Dyar was fortu- 
nately caught and secured by her husband, just in the very nick 
of time ; forcibly borne off in the marital arms, and safely deposited 
in Rhode Island. In addition to many less notable persons, Mary 
Fisher and Ann Austin, also two of the ' accursed sect" — Ave use 
the Massachusetts statute -phrase applied to 'Friends' — were 
reported to have arrived in Boston Roads. There was as yet no 
law forbidding Quakers to land in the colony, but the ruling 
powers at once resolved to arrest the growing mischief by any and 
every means, legal or illegal, within their reach. The fair Friends 
were forbidden to come on shore ; and duly-appointed officers 
visited the ship, with the view, if possible, to bring them within 
the iron meshes of the law. Their boxes were broken open, and 
diligent search made throughout their books and apparel, whilst 
the same process was going on elsewhere by female hands with 
their persons, for signs or marks of witchcraft. Witches unques- 
tionably they were, there was no doubt entertained as to that, 
though, unfortunately, the marks were not quite so discernible as 
the technicalities of the statutes in such cases made and provided 
would require. This being the case, the books were burnt, and 
the persons of the delinquents placed in solitary and rigorous 
confinement for five weeks, at the expiration of which an oppor- 
tunity offered of sending them back, with eight others in the 
same pestilent category, to the prolific source of all heresies — 
England ! Mary Fisher subsequently made a journey to Adrianople, 
where she publicly rebuked the sultan for his unreasonable and 
wicked adherence to Mohammedanism. The grave Orientals 
thought her crazy, and, influenced by the almost reverential awe 
with which every Mussulman regards persons that the hand of 

28 



'the pilgrim fathers.' 

Allah has so terribly afflicted, treated her with gTeat kindness and 
respect. Mary Fisher could not have understood the motive of 
this courteous behaviour, or she would not, one would think, have 
io constantly dilated, as she did subsequently, upon the painful 
contrast between Christian-minded Turks and Pagan-minded 
New England Christians. 

To meet and check thoroughly this onslaught of Quakers, a 
penal code was framed, and resolutely acted upon, of which the 
brief provisions were — that whoever presumed to entertain any 
of the l accursed sect,' should be fined and imprisoned at the discre- 
tion of the magistrates ; any Quaker or Quakeress coming to, or 
found in the colony, be whipped and banished; and if he or she 
returned from banishment, hanged. There Avas also a law j)assed, 
authorising the torture and mutilation of the offenders, copied 
apparently from the code of the English Star-chamber; but this 
the indignant clamours of the citizens prevented from being put 
in execution, and it \\as soon erased from the statute-book. 

Under this frightful death-code, Marmaduke Stephenson, John 
Robinson, and Mary Dyar, who had again escaped from her 
husband, Mere tried, found guilty, and sentenced to be hanged. 
After sentence, Robinson mildly asked the judges if they thought 
God would be blinded by their wretched sophistries ; Stephenson 
invoked a curse upon their heads ; and Mary Dyar gently 
exclaimed : ' The will of the Lord be done ! ' and l returned full 
of joy to the prison.' Robinson and Stephenson were executed on 
Boston Common ; Mary Dyar was also led to the scaffold ; but 
the appearance of the young and beautiful enthusiast, and, more- 
over, a wife and mother, so wrought upon the spectators, let us 
hope the judges also, that she was reprieved when the halter was 
round her neck, greatly, as it seemed, to her own disappointment. 
She had mildly, whilst walking to the gallows, replied to a coarse 
taunt of the Rev. Mr Wilson's — the gentleman who commanded 
at the 'Battle of the Swamp' — that 'she had been in Paradise 
many days.' 

Mary Dyar was once more banished ; but the coveted crown of 
martyrdom was hers at last. She again returned; was again 
condemned. Vainly this time did her husband, seconded by 
thousands of sympathising voices, entreat the judges to spare her 
life for this once only. ' Pity me ; I beg it with tears,' he 
wrote. The magistrates were inexorable — pitiless; and Boston 
Common was the scene of another judicial murder. Mary Dyar 
was hanged there. 

The next Quaker sentenced to die was William Leddron. 
Whilst the solemn mockery was proceeding, Wenlock Churtson, 
who had been previously banished on pain of death, suddenly 
entered the court, and confronted the dismayed and astonished 
judges ! Where, with such men to deal with, was this butchering 
work to end 1 Leddron was offered his life, if he would promise to 
leave the colony and not return. He refused to compromise, or 

29 



1 THE PILGRIM FATHERS. 7 

barter away, even for life, his right as an English citizen, and 
was hanged ! 

Leddron was the last Quaker victim. The hideous doings of 
the court had become too monstrous — the contrast between such 
frightful tyranny and their own high-sounding professions — their 
glowing apostrophes to freedom ! liberty ! too glaring to be longer 
even partially concealed beneath the gloss of a vain and exagge- 
rated nationality, and the whole murderous enginery fell to pieces 
amidst the soul-felt rejoicing of every genuine and enlightened 
Puritan in the colony ! Let us add, upon an authority which 
cannot be gainsaid — that of Roger Williams — that the great 
majority of those merciless magistrates were, in all the private, 
and with the exception only of their intolerance, public relations 
of life, the best, kindest, most excellent of men. ' I know you 
mean well,' Williams would frequently say. ' I am sure you are 
earnest, sincere, naturally kind-hearted and godly men; that 
you verily believe you are serving God, whilst doing the work 
of the devil. And this is why I chiefly tremble for you : the 
measure and fervency of your zeal will be that of your cruelty 
and rage.' 

The repetition of the high-minded founder of the state of 
Rhode Island's name, reminds us that we have not yet stated that 
Roger Williams proceeded to England in 1643; and, backed by 
the influence of Sir Harry Vane, readily obtained an independent 
charter for Rhode Island, with which he returned in triumph to 
America — in real triumph, for the ship in which he came back 
had not anchored, when a perfect fleet of boats, crowded with 
New England citizens, put off to welcome him — another proof, if 
any were wanting, of the sympathy of the great body of the 
colonists, dominated by habit and clerical influence as they to a 
great extent were, with the benign, tolerant, Christian principles 
of which he was the fearless and eloquent expounder and cham- 
pion. The constitution of Rhode Island, many years afterwards 
confirmed by Charles II., was a democracy, with this one proviso, 
that in matters of conscience the majority should have no power 
to legislate for the minority. Roger Williams was still a banished 
man; but armed with the letters of which he Was the bearer 
from the Long Parliament, he had nothing to dread, as he passed 
through the streets receiving and reciprocating the congratulations 
of the citizens of Boston ! It was in this year that Miantonimoh 
w r as delivered up to the tender mercies of Uncas. 

We have no inclination, nor is there any need, to dwell upon 
the witch-destroying propensity of the Pilgrim Puritans — a cruel 
and absurd mania they carried with them from Europe, in many 
parts of which it flourished long after it had died out in New 
England. We will only quote the lamentation of the last witch- 
judge, as recorded by Increase Mather — a bitter foe to witches — 
over the common-sense-compelled cessation of the tragedies that 
had been enacted in Salem and other towns in New England. 

30 



' THE PILGRIM FATHERS.' 

It reminds one very forcibly of the predictions indulged in by a 
famous English chancellor — that England's sun would infallibly set 
on the day that her parliament should decide on doing- justice and 
loving- mercy. ' The last court for the trial of witches sat at 
Charlestown, February 17, 1693. The judg-e said: a That who it 
obstructed the execution of justice, or hindered those good 
proceedings, he knew not, but thereby the kingdom of Satan was 
advanced, and the Lord have mercy upon the country ! "' Increase 
Mather does not give the name of this indignant justice ; but the 
important part of the business, that all the witches in custody were 
discharged, and no more prosecutions permitted, is duly and cir- 
cumstantially set forth in his history of New England witchcraft, 
compiled at the request of the New England divines. 

The material progress of the colony meanwhile was unprece- 
dented — marvellous. New England had attained a giant growth ; 
whilst other settlements on the same continent, with much greater 
advantages as to climate, soil, and previous organisation, were still 
in a condition of doubtful vitality. The Puritan emigration 
amounted from first to last, according to Mr Bancroft, the 
historian of the United States, to 21,200 individuals, who, says 
the same authority, by the time the Long Parliament met in 
England, when the movement, as a peculiar and distinctive one, 
may be said to have ceased, had marked out and commenced 
fifty towns, and thirty villages, built between thirty and forty 
chapels, begun to export furs and timber, earned grain and cured 
fish to the West Indies, and in 1643, had ships upon the stocks of 
400 tons burden ! The youth and manhood of New England 
have, it is well known, amply realised the dazzling promise of its 
infancy. It was chiefly with reference to the astounding com- 
mercial enterprise of this state, that Mr Burke and others in the 
British House of Commons in 1775, uplifted their hands with 
astonishment, exclaiming : ' What in the world was ever equal to 
it ! ' It was in Boston the flame burst forth which, kindling the 
rifle-flashes of Bunker's Hill, taught the astounded ministers of 
George III., that the old spirit which had vindicated Eng-lish 
liberties at Marston Moor and Naseby — and in so doing, prepared 
the way for the yet far-off constitutional and beneficent monarchy 
under which the people of these islands have now the happiness 
to live — glowed as brightly as ever in the hearts of Englishmen, 
wherever upon the earth's wide surface they might chance to have 
been born ! New England, too, was the first state in America, in 
the world, to declare the slave-trade piracy — capital felony; and 
her free schools, set on foot in the early days of the colony, were 
the type and precursors of the public educational establishments 
throughout the Union. Neither can there be any question, that 
although the Virginian city of Washington is the governmental, 
and New York the commercial capital of the republic, "New England 
is its intellectual metropolis. Above all, the soul and centre of the 
great moral agitation which will ultimately pull down the huge 

31 



1 THE PILGRIM FATHERS.' 

enormity that, like the hideous intolerance whose doing's we have 
faintly recited — and inherited, let us never forget to acknowledge, 
from the same source as that — mocks by revolting* contrast the 
liberty with which it is associated, as well as drowns in its 
chain-clankings and muttered slave-curses the triumphal hymns 
to freedom and the natural rights of humanity that resound 
throughout the vast, and, in so many aspects, glorious republic 
of the West. Let but New Enfflana lead the way to the suc- 
cessful accomplishment of this high and imperious duty, and 
the sun-bow glory of that great achievement will obliterate, 
to the eyes of the dazzled world at least, the dark spots that still 
linger too plainly visible in the great, heroic, humiliating story of 
the Pilgrim Fathers. 








THE WAR U ALGERIA. 



SLIGHT blow on M. Deval, the French con- 
sul's cheek, in 1829, by the fan of Hussein, Dey 
of Algiers, afforded Charles X. an unhoped-for 
chance of breaking the spell of ill-fortune 
which attached to the transmarine expeditions 
of France — of crushing, in the general interest 
of humanity, a nest of pirates that for three 
centuries had infested the Mediterranean; and 
chiefly and lastly, of diverting the attention of 
his volatile subjects from their new fancy — 
constitutional government — by the regilding- of 
their old and tarnished idol— foreign conquest. 
The first-mentioned purposes were easily accom- 
plished. The time chosen was summer, June 1830. Great Britain, 
to whose hostility previous maritime disasters were chiefly attribut- 
able, partially satisfied by a verbal assurance that no permanent 
occupation of the Algerine territory was contemplated, interposed 
no obstacle to the enterprise ; and a fleet of upwards of a hundred 
transport-ships, escorted by twenty vessels of war, under the com- 
mand of Admiral Duperre, safely conveyed General Bourmont, 
40,000 choice troops of all arms, and the necessaiy war-material, 
from Toulon to Sidi-Feruch, a point of the African coast a few miles 
westward of the city of Algiers — where the disembarkation, which 
No. 18. l 




THE WAR IN ALGERIA. 

occupied three days, was effected without difficulty. Algiers,, 
though strongly fortified to seaward, was incapable of serious 
resistance to a well-appointed and numerous land-force : and after 
a brisk cannonade of the Emperor's Fort, to the south-east of the 
city, the dey offered to capitulate, on condition that private pro- 
perty and the religion of the inhabitants should be respected, and 
himself and his garrison of Turkish Janizaries, about 7000 in 
number, permitted to embark unmolested in person and effects. 
These terms were readily acceded to by General Bourmont; and 
the white flag* of Bourbon France replaced (5th July) the red 
ensign of the pirates ; the victors, moreover, finding" themselves in 
the possession of public spoil to the amount of two millions sterling; 
in grold and silver, besides twelve vessels of war, and more than a 
hundred bronze cannon. But this brilliant success availed the 
French king- nothing* m his conflict with the Paris democracy, 
if, indeed, it did not precipitate his fall, by inducing a belief in 
the royal mind, that the clamorous indignation sure to be excited 
by the famous ordonnanrrs, would be drowned and forgotten in 
the triumphal echoes of the African victory. If so, the rash 
monarch was ruinously self-deceived ; the coup d'etat aimed at 
the popular liberties, failed miserably — solely, as we now perceive, 
because launched some twenty years too soon, and by the wrong* 
hand ; and the deposed dey arrived in France just as his dis- 
crowned conqueror was leaving it for ever. This, we may 
observe by the way, has not been the only time warlike adventure 
in North Africa has been associated with disaster to the House of 
Bourbon. St Louis died in the camp before Tunis ; Charles X. 
in the same month wins Algiers and loses France ; and but for the 
inopportune absence in Algeria at a critical moment of De Join- 
ville and D'Aumale, by far the most popular and energetic of 
Louis-Philippe's sons, it is more than probable that the feebly- 
opposed outbreak of February 1848, would have had a very 
different termination. But it was not to be so written. 

There is reason to believe that Charles X., and his minister, 
Prince PoligTiac, were quite sincere in the assurances given to 
Lord Aberdeen — that the only object of the French expedition, was 
the thorough extinction of Algerine piracy, so long- the scourge 
and terror of feeble commercial states; but it was one of the 
cruel necessities of Louis-Philippe's precarious position — resting as 
it did, well-nigh exclusively, upon the timid sympathies of the 
moneyed and middle classes, instead of upon those far more power- 
ful buttresses of continental thrones, the traditions and instincts 
of a numerous army, and the passions and prejudices of the great 
masses of the population — that he was compelled to temporise with 
every whim and vanity of the popular mind that happened to be 
in any way associated with the military ' glory ' of France. Com- 
pelled by this pressure, the citizen-king's government, after the 
exhibition of much vacillation and infirmity of purpose, finally 
repudiated the engagement with Great Britain, and admittedly 



THE WAH IN ALGERIA. 

against their better judgment, prosecuted the war we are about to 
sketch, sometimes with languid irresolution, at others, with 
remorseless violence, till French Africa, as it is called, nominally 
comprised an area of 100,000 square miles, extending- from 
Morocco on the west, to Tunis on the east — a distance of about 
500 miles — and from the blue waters of the Mediterranean on the 
north, to the great Desert of Sahara — the Arab's ' Sea without 
Water' (El baker billa mad) — on the south, an average breadth 
approaching 200 miles. This country of hill and dale, plain and 
desert, sand and forest, rock and river, is divided into three 
provinces — Constantina on the east, Titteri in the centre, and 
Oran on the west ; of which Bona, Algiers, and Oran are respec- 
tively the principal maritime towns or sea-gates — Algiers, or El 
Jezira ( l the Warlike '), being placed near the centre of the coast-line 
between Bona and Oran, which are about as distant from each 
other as both are from France. Other important coast-towns are 
Mostaganem and Arzew, westward, and Bouteyah and Philippe- 
ville — the latter built by the French near Bona for greater facility 
of access to the interior of Constantina, eastward of the capital of 
Algeria. The Great Atlas Mountains, which rise on the Atlantic 
sea-board of Morocco, stretch in broken and irregular masses 
across the three provinces in a south-easterly direction ; whilst the 
less elevated ridges, known as the Little or Maritime Atlas, 
extend through the country from about Mostaganem and the 
mouth of the Shelliff River, in a direction more parallel with the 
coast than the central and southern ranges — from which the 
Shelliff, for nearly 300 miles, divides them. The heights of the 
Lesser or Northern Atlas vary from 200 to 1000 feet, and, 
together with the loftier chains, and the extensive intervening- 
valleys, occupy the greater portion of the surface of French 
Africa. Algiers itself is built in the form of an irregular 
triangle upon the seaward slope of Le Sahal, a magnificent 
amphitheatre of hills swelling gently up from the Mediterranean. 
These hills are based and girdled southward by the plain of 
Metidjah, which extends — a distance of seven leagues only — to 
the nearest ridge of the Little Atlas, in the midst of which, about 
forty-five miles south of Algiers, Medeyah, the capital of the 
province of Titteri, and, moreover, the key of the south country, 
is situated. To reach this city, and the equally populous, though 
not, in a military sense, equally important town of Milianah, from 
Algiers, the Col or Pass of Teneah, a dangerous mountain-defile, 
of which we shall have to make frequent mention, must be 
threaded. Two other towns in the vicinity of Algiers are 
Blidah and Koleah, separated from each other by the width of 
the Metidjah — the first nestled at the base of the Lesser Atlas, 
the other charmingly placed on the Mediterranean shore, about 
four leagues westward of Algiers. The chief inland towns . of 
Oran are Mascara, near which Abd-el-Kader was born, and till 
his final overthrow, the governmental capital of the province ; 



THE WAR IX ALGERIA. 

and Tlemecen, 100 miles south-west of Oran, near the borders of 
the Sahara, which there approaches unusually near the coast. 
Tlemecen is also hut a few leagues eastward of the Desert of 
Angada, a debatable district, famous for its ostriches, on the 
confines of Morocco. Mascara is on the borders of Titteri, and 
inland ten leagues of Mostaganem. The only city of importance 
that breaks in the vast plains of the eastern province, is Con- 
stantina itself, fifty leagues from the coast, and perched upon 
high table-land, the southern boundary of which is the Libyan 
Desert. 

Conquerors and colonists out of number — Phoenicians, Romans, 
Vandals, Greeks of the lower empire — attempted, with more or 
less present success, the subjugation and settlement of this part of 
North Africa, and passed away, leaving few traces of their foot- 
steps, till the Arabian invasion, under Kaled, ' the Sword of God, 7 
in the eighth century, which, it is quite manifest, vitally impressed 
the language, manners, religion, and, in no slight degree, the 
physical conformation of the natives of this ancient Numidia. 
The population of Algeria, about two millions, according to 
General Lamoriciere's estimate, is essentially Asian, not African; 
and all, with the exception of the Jews and negroes, are devout 
votaries of Mohammed. This strongly-marked and diversified 
people consist of Berbers, otherwise Kabyles, Arabs, Moors, 
Kooloolis, Jews, and negroes from Soudan. The Kabyles (clans- 
men) are the descendants of the hill-tribes of North Africa, and 
like their Numidian ancestors, are reputed to be brave and active, 
as well as cruel, inhospitable, and revengeful. They still occupy 
the mountain-ranges, and are skilled in agriculture and the ruder 
mechanical arts. Their dwellings are stone huts, straw-thatched 
and overgrown with palm-branches, in almost every one of which 
there is to be seen a copy of the Koran. They are broken into 
innumerable tribes, constantly at feud with each other, and are 
governed, like their co-religionists the Arabs, by sheiks and holy 
men or maraboots — literally, men with rope-girdles — who possess 
immense influence over them. They understand Arabic, and 
those near the coast speak that language ; and in complexion they 
differ little from the swarthy Arab, but their heads are rounder, 
and their noses less prominent and aquiline than the Arabian types. 
The Arabs of the plains are a nomadic race, chiefly dwelling in 
tents, who have preserved the manners, faith, and language of 
their progenitors who immigrated to these countries ; and flit hither 
and thither with their flocks and herds, as fancy, caprice, or the 
need of water and fresh pasture dictates. Soxiie of these tribes, 
however, reside in villages near the chief cities, and engage in the 
cultivation of the soil. They are of courageous temperament, and 
simple, abstemious habits : in these attributes differing altogether 
from the servile and luxurious Moors, who constitute the bulk of 
the town populations — a mixed race, descended from the various 
nations that have at different periods settled in North Africa, 

4 



THE WAR IN ALGERIA. 

although the Arabian element undoubtedly predominates, especially 
since the large addition to their numbers consequent upon the 
expulsion of the Andalusian Moors from Spain, after the conquest 
of Granada. The Jews, who also flocked thither in great numbers 
on being driven out of that country, need not be described — semper 
idem — in Algeria, as elsewhere, the ubiquitous race are the brokers, 
pedlers, money-changers, jewel-dealers of the community. The 
Kooloolis are the descendants of the Turkish Janizaries — of whose 
Algerine rule we shall have presently to speak — who, not being* 
permitted to bring- females with them to the Barbary states, 
intermarried with Moorish women or Christian captives. The 
negroes are, or rather were, slaves from the interior of Africa. 

As might be expected, the French occupation of Algeria shews 
to greatest advantage in the metropolis of their new possession 
ana its charming environs, so easily accessible from Toulon and 
Marseille, especially if visited during the month of June, or early 
in July, when the heat has not yet become intolerable, and the 
gorgeous vegetation of the country is in its fullest vig-our, and 
coloured by its richest dyes. At this season of the year, the 
harbour of Algiers, formed by the artificial connection of a small 
bland in front of the city with the mainland, will be found ahve 
with shipping-, steamers chiefly, with frequently several crack 
specimens of the Koyal Yacht Squadron intermingled with them. 
The bustle on the quays, and in the steep and narrow streets which 
lend from them, the hurrying to and fro, and Babel hubbub of the 
motley population by which they are crowded, present a scene 
at once novel, striking-, and picturesque; and although the vigorous 
commercial life everywhere pulsating- around is no doubt in a 
great degree factitious — factitious in the sense applicable to all 
numerously-garrisoned towns — it is not the less impressive and 
exhilarating ; and you will not have been on shore ten minutes, before 
feeling quite satisfied that the contest going on between Asia and 
Europe on North African soil, is already virtually decided so far as 
the capital of Algeria is concerned. The narrow filthy streets, 
with their dead walls of whity-brown houses, have been or are in 
process of being cleared and widened, and the houses turned round 
with their window-faces to the passers-by — to the unspeakable 
disgust and dismay of the wealthy, luxurious Moors, at thus 
finding themselves, their harems, servants — the inner, shrouded 
life, in fact, to which they were accustomed in their walled-in 
seclusion — exposed, like the faces of Frankish, and, alas ! of late, 
too many Moorish women, to impertinent observation and the 
common light of day. There has been an extensive emigration 
of rich Moors to the more congenial atmosphere of Tunis and 
Morocco, but the poorer classes, both of Moors and Kooloolis, have 
adopted themselves, with more or less of readiness, to a change by 
which they have unquestionably been greatly benefited ; and a*s 
porters — a business they dispute with the emancipated negroes- 
waiters, clerks, household servants, boatmen, and the inferior 

5 



THE WAR IN ALGERIA. 

occupations generally, display an energy and teachableness that 
could hardly have been predicted from their former habits and 
modes of thought. The Jews also remain, and make money of 
their new clients the French, with as keen a relish as they did of 
their old friends the Turks and Moors ; and all the more agreeably, 
no doubt, that no apprehension need now be entertained of a 
sudden demand of ' your money or your life ' from a fierce aga of 
Janizaries, or other all-potent functionary, as in the days when 
their elastic shoulders stooped beneath the burden of Turkish rule. 
The new building's — the Prefecture, Cathedral, Theatre, Palace 
of Justice, handsome structures all of them — contribute greatly to 
the rapidly-developing' European aspect of the city. Then the 
principal thoroughfares are studded with brilliant cares, milliners', 
confectioners', jewellers' shops, almost all kept by a monsieur or 
madame de Paris. Let us walk on to the principal bazaar or 
market-place, not very far from the Place de Marengo, which ha3 
not only a fresh and pleasant look at this season of the year, 
with its pyramids of delicious fruits — cherries, peaches, pome- 
granates, oranges, dates, jujubes, melons — but is perhaps the very 
best place in Algiers for obtaining a good, collective view of its 
shifting, miscellaneous population. Here we are, and the first 
glance assures us that officers and soldiers in the blue and red 
uniforms, gold, silver, and worsted epaulettes, and lace of the 
French army, are abundantly numerous ; Zouaves and Spahis, 
native troops in the service of France (fighting Arabs and Kabyles 
— not Moors), in ornamented bomouse (cloaks), are scarcely less 
so. Yonder, a muffled Moorish lady hurries past, followed by 
a huge negro carrying her marketings, the lady intensely scruti- 
nised by a bevy of elegantly-attired French dames, who, escorted 
by their smart and lithe, if not very gigantic husbands, that talk 
much more and louder than their greatly better-halves, are come 
over to take a peep at the capital of L'Afrique Franeaise — one or 
more of them possibly to ascertain if an eligibly-situated mafjasin- 
de-modcs is in the marRet. At a stall near them is a gay soubrettc, 
unmistakably a recent importation, with her unexceptionable cap 
and glittering ear-drops, who wonderfully contrives at one and the 
same moment to bargain for a fowl with her fingers, dispose of a 
peach with her teeth, and play off the artillery of laughing lips, 
bright eyes, and the prettiest feet in the world, at a young sous- 
lieutenant, in the uniform of a Chasseur d'Afrique, who happens 
to be standing by. Here and there flash past, showily attired, 
jewelled Jewesses, whose lustrous Eastern eyes are, after all, their 
brightest ornaments. Those grave-looking swarthy men in white 
bornouse are Kabyles, who, first leaving their arms at the barrier, 
are come to ascertain how wheat, maize, millet, which they 
cultivate on the slopes and in the valleys of the Little Atlas, are 
ruling in Algiers to-day. There are but few Arabs present, 
except those in uniform — the free air of the plains doubtless suiting 
them better than the close atmosphere of towns, Giaour-governed 

6 



THE WAR IN ALGERIA. 

towns more especially ; but there is a large number of Kooloolia 
and the lower sort of Moors running- about in all directions, in the 
reality or pretence of business, and bawling 1 and gesticulating- in a 
way that greatly adds to the din and confusion of the novel and, 
to a stranger, burlesque scene. The gendarmerie manrc, who are 
•t( j d to keep order in this and similar localities, are recruited 
from the ranks of these noisy, bustling- errand-men. 

Leaving- this market, and passing out of the city by one of the 
barriers of the upper town, we find ourselves near the plateau- 
summit of Le Sahal, with one of the most splendid landscapes in 
world stretched out before us. Beauty breaks in everywhere, 
encircles us in all directions. The verdant, slightly-undulating' 
surface of the far east and west extending- hills is profusely dotted 
with white, villa-like country-houses, peeping out from amidst 
vine-gardens, orange and palm groves, bouquet-like clumps of 
pomegranate, jujube, cypress, and almond trees; above us is the 
deep, cloudless blue of Italian skies ; and far below, murmuring- at 
the base of Le Sahal, and closing- the distant horizon on the norths 
are the bright and calmly-heaving- waters of the Mediterranean 
— the fresh breeze from whence sensibly moderates the intense 
Even in the shade of this luxuriant foliage, the thermo- 
meter stands at 100 degrees Fahrenheit: a month later in the 
year, it will be at least ten degrees higher — still higher when the 
south wind blows and scorches, as with the breath of a blast- 
furnace, every leaf and blade of verdure in Algeria — baking* 
them as brown as an Arab's face, save it may be the oleander 
tribe, and one or two similar iire-and-frost defying- evergreens ; 
with the exception, also, of the oasis upon which we are now 
standing-, which, at an immense cost, has been completely 
interlaced with a silver net-work of streams, shielded from the 
sun's rays by the overarching- foliage which they nourish and 
sustain. Le Sahal was the earthly Mohammedan paradise of the 
chiefs of the Janizaries and the wealthy Moors, till the cannon 
of the Franks awoke them from their sensuous dreams of 
security ; and, judging- by the numerous epaulettes and silk 
dresses that glance and flutter through openings in the trees and 
groves, it is not less the favourite resort of the gallant soldiers and 
fair dames of France. Other luxurious retreats in the vicinity of 
Alg-iers are the renowned gardens of Blidah and Koleah, situated, 
m previously stated, one at the base of the near Atlas range, the 
other on the Mediterranean shore, slightly westward of the city. 
The towns themselves may be called gardens, the narrow streets 
being roofed in, as it were, with interlacing branches of the palm 
and vine, partly for shade to the dwellers therein, but chiefly to 
prevent the drying up during the summer heats of the limpid 
waters of the Chissa, which are made to flow through them. 
The shop-windows of these leaf-shaded streets, opening' like trap- 
doors, give to view peculiar industries going on within— such as 
the manufacture and ornamentation of silk bornouse of various 

7 



THE WAR IN ALGERIA. 

colours, rich saddlery, slippers, sabre-sheaths, &c; and fruit and 
sweetmeat shops are well supplied and numerous. Each establish- 
ment is watched in front by the proprietor, who, squat upon a 
mat, and not unfrequently dabbling- with his feet in the cool 
stream, regards the intrusive Franks with the same dull furtive 
expression of cowed malignity which one sometimes detects in the 
quickly-withdrawn glance of his richer countryman of Le Sahal ; 
seeming-, like him, to be searching- his opium or tobacco muddled 
brains for a solution of the mysterious decree of Allah, which 
permits the unbeliever to command in places once sacred to the 
faithful, and trodden by the Christian only as a slave. 

These are no doubt exceptional spots, but Alg-eria, generally 
speaking-, is of considerable average fertility. The slopes of the 
Atlas — three ranges of which, rising- one above the other, can be 
discerned from the plateau of Le Sahal — are clothed, in most 
instances, to the summit with wood and verdure ; the intervening 
valleys, watered by innumerable streams, bring forth abundantly ; 
and the plains of Bona and Constantina have a historical reputation 
for productiveness. The experimental agriculture of France has 
not yet, however, produced very favourable results. Soon after 
General Bourmonts conquest, the glowing reports sent home 
relative to the capabilities of the magnificent expanse of the 
Metidjah — comprising forty-five square leagues of dead-level 
ground, in the immediate vicinity of Algiers — induced considerable 
numbers of French farmers, spite of their generally unenterprising: 
character, to quit la belle France, and encounter the perils of the 
Mediterranean, with a view to locate themselves permanently in a 
land of such splendid promise. Pestilence and the sword, however, 
quickly dispelled the sanguine dreams of the unfortunate colonists. 
The beautiful greensward was found to be a forest of tall reedy- 
grass, in which, without a compass, a man mig-ht be lost as easily 
as in an American wilderness; the fair-seeming plain itself, a 
pestilential swamp in winter, and in the summer, still more fatal 
to human life, from the deadly vapours issuing- from the cracked 
surface of the undrained ground. Hundreds of colonists perished 
miserably ; and those whom fever spared, fell by the hands of the 
Arabs and Kabyles, who, issuing from the Col de Teneah, swept 
the Metidjah repeatedly with sword and flame. The hapless 
condition of the scattered colonists, in this last respect, may be 
estimated from the remark of Baron Pichon, civil intendant of 
Algeria — ' that the government model-farm, distant only about six 
miles from Algiers, always required a battalion to guard it, and a 
half-battalion to inquire every morning after their comrades 7 
welfare, and the manner in which they had passed the night.' 
The incursions of the Arabs have been at length effectually 
restrained by a wall and chain of block-houses, which completely 
encircle the Metidjah — a sort of miniature Chinese wall, devised by 
General Bugeaud in 1845; but the deadly pestilence has been 
mitigated only by the partial draining that has taken place, and 

8 



THE WAR IN ALGERIA. 

millions must vet be sunk in the devouring" soil ere the rate of 
mortality can be reduced to a satisfactory average. And it is only 
in the Metidjah that any serious attempt at agricultural colonisation 
lias been made. The vast plains at the eastern province are still 
solitudes, broken only by the shifting* locations of the nomadic 
Arabs. In fact, after twenty-two years of unparalleled sacrifices 
and prodigious exertion, the French are still only encamped in 
Africa, not settled there. Their dominion, according- to Marshal 
Dugeaud, an unexceptionable authority upon such a point, is limited 
to the range of their cannon — ' Nos boulets marquent let limites dc 
noire puissance en Afrique. 1 This is the thrice-told tale of French 
colonisation, for which that versatile and ingenious people do not 
indeed appear to possess the slightest aptitude. They colonised 
Canada during- more than two hundred years; and when Wolfe's 
victory over Montcalm finally wrested it from them, Canada could 
boast of 23,000 colonists, men, women, and children ; twenty years 
afterwards, the number reached 1 13,000. The chief cause of these 
lamentable failures, seems to be their entire lack of faith in any 

iative enterprise which is not originated and dominated by 
the government. They appear to have a downright passion for being 
regulated 'organised' is the favourite term— by authority, whether 
the purpose be great or small — the mode of waiting- at the doors of 
a theatre, or of founding- a great colony ; a remarkable idiosyncrasy, 
which has no doubt its value in a military point of view, but is quite 
incompatible with the self-rejying energy, the individual vehemence 
and determination which constitute the vital force, the inherent 
and expansive life of all permanently successful colonies. Still, as 
the French nation prefer being organised for such enterprises, let 
u.-. hope that the railways which the Journal de V Empire announced 
in December last to be contemplated by the government (one from 
Algiers to Blidah across the Metidjah, the other from Philippeville 

onstantina by the Saza Valley), will not only be speedily 
accomplished, but that the correlative decrees which the emperor 
may issue, commanding- the prompt and permanent colonisation of 
Algeria, will be as effectual as those of Louis-Philippe were noto- 
riously futile and useless. This, by the way, is not an entirely 
disinterested aspiration ; for if there is one thing* clear in the hazy 
domain of international politics, it is that France, by establishing* 
herself in Algeria, has entered into a bond to keep the peace 
towards Great Britain to the full value she places upon its retention ; 
and, as earnest friends of peace, we shall rejoice at the success 
of any measures which may tend to render the pledg-e of amity 
more precious in the eyes of the French people. The protests of 
successive British ministries before alluded to, were from the first 
solely dictated by anxiety for the independence of Morocco, with 
which this country has important commercial relations, and whence, 
moreover, the supplies for Gibraltar are drawn. That point con- 
ceded, as it has ultimately been, the French settlement in North 
Africa is a matter of congratulation for Great Britain, not jealousy. 

Nc. 18. 9 



THE WAR IN ALGERIA. 

It will be necessary to introduce our sketch of the war, still 
unconcluded, that has for so many years desolated the interior of 
the country, whose more salient physical and moral features we 
have briefly glanced at, by the shortest possible summary of the 
origin and character of the Turkish power encamped there, in 
nearly the same positions as the French now occupy, for three 
hundred years previous to the capture of Algiers by General 
Bourmont. And it may be as well in this place to request the 
reader to bear in mind — especially when his blood flames and his 
eyes fill with indignation and pity at the bare recital of deeds 
which outrage the humanities even of war, if such a phrase is 
permissible — that we transcribe those passages from records 
furnished by the perpetrators of the deeds themselves, and neces- 
sarily so, inasmuch as the adverse parties in the terrific contest — 
the Kabyles and Arabs — publish no newspapers, indite no bulletins ; 
a circumstance, moreover, which may perhaps in some degree 
reconcile the apparent contradiction between the confessedly 
unsatisfactory result of the war and the unusually large number 
of brilliant military reputations that have been created by it. 

Algerine piracy owes its origin, in reality, to a war of pro- 
selytisin, initiated by Ferdinand, called the Catholic, of Spain. 
That monarch, not satisfied with expelling the Mohammedan 
Arabs from Spain, pursued them with relentless zeal to Africa, 
where they had fled for refuge; and his forces obtained possession, 
in the commencement of the sixteenth century, of Oran, several 
minor points on the coast, and the small island in front of Algiers, 
then unconnected with the mainland. Eutemi, the Saracen chief 
of Algiers, terrified at the progress of the invaders, applied for 
assistance to a co-religionist and desperate pirate called Baba 
Horush (Father Horush), corrupted by European sailors into 
Barbarossa, whose exploits in the Levant had invested his name 
with a terrible celebrity. He acceded to the request with alacrity, 
landed his sea-banditti near Bona, and, in concert with the Moors, 
recovered from the Spaniards all their acquisitions, except Oran 
and the island before Algiers. He next slew Eutemi, and governed 
the Moors in his stead with brutal ferocity. At length, on 
returning from the sack of Tlemecen, he was attacked near Oran 
by the Spaniards and revolted Moors, defeated, and slain. His 
brother, Khair-ed-Din, who succeeded to his authority, lost no 
time in placing himself and his dominions under the protection of 
the Commander of all the Faithful, Selim I., sultan of Constan- 
tinople, who, guided chiefly by religious motives, accepted the 
charge as affording a valuable maritime counterpoise to the grow- 
ing power of Spain, and the zeal of the Knights of St John, 
established at Malta for the avowed purpose of enforcing Chris- 
tianity in the Mediterranean by fire and sword. Khair-ed-Din 
was created a bey, subsequently, capudan pacha, or high-admiral, 
and was furnished with a body of Turkish Janizaries, who assisted 
him to retake the island in front of his capital from the Spaniards. 
10 



THE WAR IN ALGERIA. 

The organisation of Algerine piracy dates from this time ; and so 
rigorous and rapid was its development, that when Charles V. 
uled the throne, the corsairs of Barbary were not only the 
■ r of the Mediterranean and Adriatic seas, but insulted the 
very coasts and harbours of Spain almost with impunity. In 
1541, Charles V., the most powerful monarch at that time in 
Europe, sent a great armament against Algiers, which resulted 
in disastrous failure. The fleet was shattered by a hurricane, 
and the army compelled to re-embark in confusion and dismay. 
The insolence of the Algerines now overtopped all bounds, and 
indiscriminate war was made upon the vessels of all Christian 
nations that refused to pay them tribute. Admiral Blake, how- 
ever, taught them to respect the English flag; the French, in 
1684, bombarded the pirate-city with the like purpose and success; 
the Dutch, Swedes, and Danes, purchased forbearance by annual 
subsidies ; but against the weaker maritime states, the piratical 
war continued with unabated audacity. The United States, after 
their separation from Great Britain, were supposed to be in that 
category — a mistake which the dey, in 1815, had to pay dearly 
for. The following- year, Lord Exmouth battered Algiers, and 
compelled the liberation of every Christian slave in the dey's 
dominions— not one of whom, by the by, was a British subject; 
and in 1830, as we have seen, the dominion of the Turkish 
Janizaries, after three centuries of ferocious misrule and oppression, 
was finally brought to an end. 

That turbulent and licentious militia, though always recruited 
in the Ottoman dominions, had long ceased to owe more than a 
nominal allegiance to the sultan ; and the deys, whom they 
elected from their own ranks, held their precarious state upon a 
throne but one step from a bloody grave, into which, at the 
caprice of the Janizaries, they might be at any moment hurled. 
The rule of the deys did not extend beyond the towns and the 
Arab villages in the immediate vicinity ; and they were accus- 
tomed to make war upon the Kabyles and nomadic Arabs pre- 
cisely after the corsair fashion practised in the Mediterranean — 
namely, by sudden incursions in quest of booty, the most valuable 
being the chiefs of principal families, and their wives and children, 
whom they bore off, not into absolute slavery, for — the prisoners 
being followers of the Prophet — that was forbidden by the law of 
the Koran, but into rigorous captivity, from which they were only 
released upon payment of heavy ransoms by their relatives or 
tribe. This system, incredible as it may appear, has been con- 
tinued, and in some respects improved upon, by the generals of 
France. In the cities, the Turkish sway was ruthless ; and as the 
arrival of the French brought only a change of masters, they 
were submitted to by the Moors with the same timid obsequious- 
ness as they manifested when crouching beneath the iron rod of 
the Janizaries. The Jews and Kooloolis welcomed the new- 
comers from the first ; so that France has really had to contend 

ii 



THE WAR IN ALGERIA. 

only with the Kabyles and nomadic Arabs, and not with all or 
nearly all of these, for many of the most warlike tribes have 
constantly sided with the invaders, and furnished the battalions 
and squadrons of Zouaves and Spahis, the most effective troops, 
according- to French authority, in the army of Africa. It was the 
Zouaves who covered their new eagle with glory at the recent 
storming- of Laghouat, and, said General Randon, governor- 
general of Algeria, inscribed with their victorious swords the 
first page of the military annals of the new empire. We now 
commence the narrative of a war, of which we have just quoted 
the latest triumph. 

Soon after the capitulation of Algiers, a considerable number of 
Arab chiefs met in council at Blidah, to consider whether it might 
not be politic to continue on the same terms with the new as 
with the old masters of Algiers, Bona, and Oran, the beys of 
which latter towns had already transferred their allegiance, what- 
ever that might be worth, to France, and been confirmed in their 
authority. They, the Arabs, had been accustomed to purchase, 
by certain fixed payments, the privilege of grazing- their flocks and 
herds within reach of the Turkish garrisons ; and the continuance 
or discontinuance of this species of tribute was the especial matter 
for discussion. General Bourmont went to assist at the conference 
with 2000 infantry, two squadrons of cavalry, and six pieces of 
cannon, for the sole purpose, as he stated, of personally assuring- the 
Arabs that France had no other object in sending an expedition to 
Africa, than to relieve them of the detestable yoke of the Alg*erine 
Turks. The Arabs did not wait to receive this friendly messagre ; 
and when the misunderstood g-eneral was returning- the next day 
but one to Algiers from his abortive mission, he was assailed by 
such a swarm of Arab cavalry, and pressed so fiercely, that spite 
of the unquestionable bravery and discipline of the troops under 
his command, it was only with the greatest difficulty, and after 
severe loss, that they succeeded in regaining the shelter of the 
city. The prosecution of the Arab war, thus rashly provoked by 
General Bourmont, was intrusted by Louis-Philippe's government 
to General Clausel, who succeeded to the chief command in 
September 1830. This officer's views in Africa' embraced from 
the first a wide horizon ; and the preliminary steps for their 
attainment were entered upon with vigour. He recommended 
colonisation on a grand scale, commencing- with the plain of the 
Metidjah, and the formation of native battalions, in imitation of the 
policy of Great Britain in India. These views were to some 
extent adopted by the French ministry ; the immediate colonisa- 
tion of the Metidjah was decreed and formulised in the Monitew 
Alfjtricn, and a commencement made towards organising' a 
powerful force of Zouaves and Spahis. A foreign battalion, com- 
posed, according to one of them, whose narrative has been trans- 
lated by Lady Duff Gordon, of adventurers and vagabonds from 
every nation in Europe, except Great Britain, but commanded 

12 



THE WAR IN ALGERIA. 

by French officers, was formed and permanently attached 
to the army of Africa, which, consisting- of about 40,000 men 
when General Clausel assumed the direction of affairs, has been 
since gradually increased to 100,000, the average force usually 
maintained in French Africa. 

The first military exploit of General Clausel was directed 
against Medeyah, the capital and residence of the Bey of Titteri, 
whom it was resolved to depose, says Baron Pichon, because he 
wrote insulting letters to General Clausel. The troops employed 
amounted to 10,000 men; the Metidjah was traversed in safety; 
and first leaving a garrison at Blidah, the French general pushed 
on through the Col or Pass of Teneah, occupied Medeyah, 
deposed the refractory bey, and installed Ben Omar, a Moor of 
Algiers, in his stead, whilst General Clausel was thus busied, 
the Sheik, Ben Zamour, descended from the hills at the head of a 
numerous body of Kabyles, massacred, as he swept through the 
Metidjah, fifty artillerymen who had lost their way there, and 
attacked the garrison left at Blidah: General Clausel instantly 
hurried back to the rescue of his rear -guard, dispersed the 
assailants, ordered military execution to be done upon a number 
of native traitors to French rule, 'pour cncourager les autres,' and 
returned to Algiers. He subsequent^ entered into negotiation 
with the Bey of Tunis with reference to a joint expedition against 
the Turkish Bey of Constantina; and having - concluded an arrange- 
ment which the French ministry refused to sanction, the mortified 
<reneral threw up his command, and returned to France. General 
Berthezene succeeded to the vacated post — a very onerous and 
difficult one in the then indecisive see-saw state of French 
African policy — one day veering- towards peace, the next yielding 
to the clamours of the war-party, inclining- to vigorous hostilities. 
General Berthezene, although a distinguished veteran of the 
imperial school, was a strenuous partisan of peace, chiefly, no doubt, 
because he had formed a truer estimate of the probable duration 
and calamities of a death-strug-gle with a fanatical and hardy 
population than the Vadauds of Paris. His military measures were, 
nevertheless, prompt and energetic. On the 1st of July 1831, he 
forced the Pass of Teneah ; relieved the garrison of Medeyah, 
hotly besieged by a numerous force of Kabyles and Arabs ; and 
fought his dangerous way back again in safety to Algiers, though 
beset and hemmed in on every side by a multitude of fierce and 
desperate assailants. This homeward march was a hurried one — ■ 
occupying fifty hours only, writes Baron Pichon, though the 
advance to Medeyah had consumed five days. 

The efforts of General Berthezene to bring about an accommoda- 
tion with the Arabs of the plains, which his recent march to Medeyah 
and back did not induce him to slacken, would perhaps have 
succeeded, had he not been suddenly superseded by feavary, Duke 
of Rovigo. On the arrival of this officer in Algiers, the nego- 
tiations were peremptorily broken off, and it was ostentatiously 

13 



THE WAR IN ALGERIA. 

proclaimed, that the new commander-in-chief was in full possession 
of the confidence of the French king and ministry, and heartily 
determined to carry out the plan mutually agreed upon for the 
subjugation of the native population. There can be, we think, no 
doubt that this was a calumnious misrepresentation ; and that the 
frightful deed which has branded the African command of the 
Duke of Rovigo with indelible infamy, was that of one ruthless 
man only, irritated by the vexations incidental to his very difficult 
position, and not the deliberate counsel of a cabinet of calmly- 
judging statesmen. The prime object of the Duke of Rovigo was 
evidently ' to give a lesson' to the Arabs — one that they would not 
easily forg'et ; a design in which he unquestionably succeeded to 
admiration, though not in the sense he had anticipated. The tribe 
of Ben-Ouffias, a friendly and peaceful one, against whom Baron 
Pichon says no serious, well-founded complaint could be alleged, 
was selected for the experiment. 

On the night of the 6th of April 1833, a battalion of the Foreign 
Legion and a squadron of Zouaves fell suddenly upon the unsus- 
pecting- Ben - Ouffias, and the morning's sun rose upon the 
mangled bodies of the entire tribe, surprised and slain whilst they 
slept ! Tidings of this atrocious massacre flew, as if on wings of 
fire, through the land, everywhere kindling into flame the yet 
smouldering passions of the vast majority of the country popula- 
tion, and lighting up the fierce war of despair which has since cost 
France so dear alike in men, money, and reputation. So universal 
was the outbreak, that in the opinion of the Duke of Rovigo himself, 
his ' great lesson' necessitated immediate and powerful reinforce- 
ments. They were granted; and the duke's conduct, in reply to" 
the angry reclamations of several eloquent speakers in the Chamber 
of Deputies, indignant that such dishonour should be brought on 
the great name of France, was defended, or rather excused, by the 
plea of necessity. Marshal Soult, at a subsequent period, defended 
an act, if possible, of still greater enormity by saying, ' that what 
would be a crime against civilisation in Europe, might be a justi- 
fiable necessity in Africa.' This geographical morality of the 
invader of Portugal in 1808, may pass for what it is worth; but 
we must not forget to mention, that many French officers entitled 
to a share of the spoil obtained by the Ben-Ouffias razzia, refused 
to contaminate themselves by its acceptance, and that Savary, 
Duke of Rovigo, arrived death-stricken in Paris, and died there in 
the June following the slaughter of the Ben-Ouffias. 

The terrible example he had set survived him : the system of 
night-razzias — that is, of swooping, during the hours of sleep and 
darkness, upon unsuspecting villagers, in revenge or reprisal of the 
hostility of the armed countrymen of the sleepers — became a settled 
practice of the war. They form the under-play, n it were, of the 
grand military drama enacted in Algeria; and as the limits of this 
paper preclude more than an outline of the more important opera- 
tions, it will be as well to give in this place, and once for all, a 

14 



THE WAR IN ALGERIA. 

description of the mode of executing- a razzia, extracted from the 
narrative of an actor in one of them, who evidently, from the easy 
frankness with which he writes, was quite unconscious that he was 
relating- any blameworthy or uncommon exploit. The writer was 
at the time in the Foreign Legion, under the orders of Lieutenant- 
colonel Picolou ; and the scene of the enterprise was in the neigh- 
bourhood of Dschilegu, between Budschia and Philippeville, on 
the sea-coast of the eastern province. The translation is Lady 
Duff Gordon's:— 

* The commandant marched up into the mountains one night 
with the whole garrison, to chastise the Kabyles for their inso- 
lence. We started at midnight under the guidance of some Arabs 
who knew the country, and marched without stopping, and in 
deep silence, up hill and down dale, until, just before daybreak, 
the crowing of cocks and the baying- of dogs gave us notice 
that we were close upon a tribe. We were ordered to halt, and 
two companies, with a few field-pieces, were left behind upon 
an eminence. After a short time, we started again, and the first 
glimmer of light shewed us the huts of the tribe straight before 
us. An old Kabyle was at that moment going out with a pair of 
oxen to plough ; as soon as he saw us, he uttered a fearful howl, 
and fled, but a few well-directed shots brought him down. In one 
moment, the grenadiers and voltigeurs, who were in advance, broke 
through the hedges of prickly pear which generally surround a 
Kabyle village, and the massacre began. Strict orders had been 
given to kill all the men, and only take the women and children 
prisoners. A few men only reeled half awake out of their huts, 
but most of them still lay fast asleep : not one escaped death. 
The women and children rushed, howling and screaming, out of 
their burning huts in time to see their husbands and brothers 
butchered. One young woman, with an infant at her breast, 
started back at the .sight of strange men, exclaiming' : " Moham- 
med 1 Mohammed ! " and rushed back into her hut. Some soldiers 
sprang forward to save her, but the roof had already fallen in, and 

she and her child perished in the flames We then returned 

with our booty, and it was high time, for other tribes of Kabyles 
came flocking together from every side, attracted by the noise. 
We were forced to retreat in such haste, that we left the greater 
part of the cattle behind. The fire of the companies we had 
stationed in our rear and the field-pieces at last gave us time to 
breathe.' 

The narrative goes on to say, that, two or three days afterwards, 
messengers from the Kabyle tribes came to treat for the ransom 
of the captive women and children ; and that ' they conscientiously 
ransomed even the old women, whom we would have given them 
gratis.' It is only fair to add, that a writer in the Revue des Deux 
Mondes, states that General Cavaignac, when engaged in such 
enterprises, gave orders ' only to loll the men in the last extremity.' 

The tumultuous uprising* of the Arabs consequent upon the 

15 



THE WAR IN ALGERIA. 

Duke of Rovigo's massacre of the Ben-Ouffias, elevated for the 
iirat time an individual into notice whose name has since become 
famous in the world's ear — the renowned Abd-el-Kader — a brief 
account of whom, previous to this period, may not be unacceptable. 
Abd-el-Kader (Adorer of God) is the son of a saintly and 
ambitious maraboot of the name of Mahli-ed-Din-Hadj. He was 
one of six children — five boys and one girl — and his place of birth, 
in 180(5, was in the vicinity of Mascara. His mother, Leila Zahara ? 
who still lives, and has shared her son's long- captivity in France, is 
said to have been a beautiful and highly-instructed Arabian woman; 
and Mahli-ed-Din-Hadj, his father, claimed to be in some way 
descended from the Prophet of the Mussulmans — a circumstance 
which, combined with the more positive fact that he had made two 
pilgrimages to Mecca, gave him an immense influence with his 
countrymen, which he appears to have very skilfully availed 
himself of, in the hope, it is alleged, of one day founding an Arab 
dynasty upon the ruins of the Turkish power. He very early 
discerned, or imagined that he did, indications of the qualities 
which lead to eminence, in his favourite son, Abd-el-Kader; and 
it was sedulously given out, that a halo of celestial brightness 
had encircled his baby-brows at the moment of birth, seen, 
however, only by his father and mother, who were alone at ths 
time. There could be no doubt that this was not only a special 
testimony to his descent from the Prophet, but a promise, certain 
to be fulfilled, of future greatness ; and that he might be worthily 
fitted for the high position thus miraculously proclaimed to await 
him, the utmost pains were lavished upon his education, by which 
he so rapidly profited, that at twelve years of age he could repeat 
the Koran by heart. This solid foundation for more secular 
teaching accomplished, he was sent to Oran for further instruc- 
tion, and of course soon distanced every competitor in the race 
after knowledge. Some suspicion of Mahli-ed-Din-IIadj's perfect 
loyalty having found a lodgment in the brain of Hassan, bey of 
Oran, the saintly maraboot was requested to attend his higlmess's 
divan on a particular day, for the purpose of clearing up the 
doubts which troubled the bey's mind. This Abd-el-Kader 
strongly advised his father not to do, and offered to attend himself 
instead, and give the required explanations. This course was 
agreed to : and Bey Hassan was so charmed with the son's 
eloquence, and so entirely convinced thereby that his suspicions 
had foully wronged the excellent maraboot, that he made the 
youthful orator a handsome present, and charged him, moreover, 
with a most pressing invitation to his father to pay his highness 
a friendly visit at the palace of Oran, where he would be received 
with all the favour and distinction due to his illustrious descent 
and many virtues. The message was delivered ; and the result 
was, that Mahli-ed-Din-Hadj departed forthwith on a third 
pilgrimage to the holy city, this time accompanied by his coun- 
sellor and son, Abd-el-Kader. In passing through Egypt, they 
16 



THE AVAR IN ALGERIA. 

obtained, we are told, an interview with Mohammed Ali, thg 
cancr of which energetic barbarian had previously excited the 
enthusiastic admiration of the future emir — an admiration which a 
nearer view of the great man served to increase. Before returning - , 
the father and son visited the tomb of a celebrated marabout 
relative, not far from Bagdad — one Mulei-Abd-el- Kader, who 
had lived exactly a hundred years, precisely half of which he 
had passed upon the summit of an isolated piece of rock, miracu- 
lously fed by a starling*. This visit was a fortunate one in many 
respects. The departed maraboot reappeared to the two pilgrims, 
and presented his youthful relative with an apple of remarkable 
properties; inasmuch that when Abd-el-Kader, on his return home, 
commenced eating- it in the presence of his family and a few inti- 
mate friend.-,, the same halo of azure light which at the moment of 
birth had lightened round his brows, again encircled them with a 
prophetic glory ! What is certain, however, is, that Abd-el-Kaders 
reputation for wisdom, sanctity, and as possessing- the especial 
favour of the Prophet, increased rapidly; and it was chiefly in 
deference to his counsel, that his former dangerous friend, Hassan, 
be} of Oran, who had incurred the displeasure of his Janizaries, 
was refused an asylum at Mascara. The future emir's marriage 
with Leila Kheira, the daug-hter of an influential sheik, and a very 
charming- maiden — that is, according- to the notion of what is 
charming- entertained by Arabs — added considerably to his impor- 
tance ; and it began to be quite evident that, apart from miraculous 
interposition, a brilliant perspective was disclosing- itself to the eager 
gaze of Mahli-ed-Din-Hadj's aspiring- son. The personal appear- 
ance of Abd-el-Kader was not of that kind which usually commands 
the respect of a rude people, nor had he yet shewn any proof of 
the impetuous courage which, in the absence of the slig-htest 
pretension to military ability, properly so called, has since won for 
him a wide renown. He was under the middle size, but active 
•and robust ; and his larg-e, thoug-htful black eyes, and abundant 
beard of the same colour, gave a sombre as well as intelligent 
expression to his palish -yellow countenance. His hands — his 
especial vanity — were small and delicately formed, and his voice 
was soft and musical ; so that, altogether, he seemed rather a 
reflective, meditative man, than one of fiery, impulsive action. 

Such was Abd-el-Kader as he appeared in the presence 01 the 
larg-e gathering of Kabyle and Arab chiefs assembled at Eg-ris, 
after the destruction of the Ben-Ouffias, to concert measures for 
proclaiming- a holy war against the French, and deciding as to 
who should lead them in the desperate contest. The indecision that 
for some time prevailed as to the choice of a leader, was put an end 
to by a celebrated maraboot called Sidi Al Amich, who announced, 
amidst a breathless silence, that having been nearly the whole of 
the previous night engaged in prayer to Mohammed, that he 
would be pleased to indicate the person most worthy to lead his — 
the Prophet's — people in the war against the infidel about to 

17 



THE WAR IN ALGERIA. 

commence, lie received an answer just at the rise of sun, when 
Mulei-Abd-el-Kader suddenly appeared before him, and beckoning-, 
led the way to a magnificent tent, the entrance-curtain to which 
being* self- withdrawn, revealed Abd-el-Kader, the son of Mahli, the 
Pilgrim (ed Din Hadj), seated upon a magnificent throne, with 
the pale-blue halo, twice before seen, encircling- his head as with 
a celestial diadem. This was quite sufficient — more than enough, 
in fact. The decision of the Prophet, so unmistakably intimated, 
was instantly ratified by the loud acclamations and flashing- swords 
•of the congregated chiefs. Abd-el-Kader was forthwith pro- 
claimed Emir of Mascara, Prince and Commander of the Faithful, 
and invested with the violet bournou, the badge and emblem of 
supreme office and authority. 

At once broke the hurricane of war, sweeping- the open country 
to the very walls of Algiers, Bona, and Oran, with terrific violence. 
Blidah, Medeyah, Koleah, were invested by multitudes of half- 
frantic cavalry, whose glancing- swords and waving- banners, how- 
ever, thoug-h terrible and imposing; enough in appearance, were of 
slight avail ag-ainst stone walls and well-pointed cannon. Lavish 
reinforcements arrived from Toulon and Marseille, and the French 
commanders gradually resumed the offensive. General Demischels 
made a successful razzia upon a tribe of nomade Arabs, slew 300 
men, and carried off the women and children safely to Oran, 
thoug-h sorely pressed during- his retreat by the gathering tribes ; 
who, failing- to rescue their unfortunate relatives by the sword, 
purchased them of the g-eneral a few days afterwards. Much 
desultory fig-hting- ensued, with varied and generally indecisive 
results ; but the French, notwithstanding-, persistently extended 
themselves along* the coast-line, both east and west, of Algiers. 
General, the Count d'Erlon, had succeeded the Duke of Rov\go 
in the chief command, with the title of Governor-general of the 
French Possessions in Africa ; and under his administration, 
the maritime state of Arzew, and the important town of Mosta- 
ganem, eastward of Oran, were wrested from the Arabs. An 
expedition direct from Toulon encountered and defeated the 
Kabyles of the eastern division of the Little Atlas, and captured 
Bouteyah. In pursuance, however, of the policy announced at 
this time by Marshal Soult in the Chamber of Deputies, in reply 
to General Clausel, that France had no intention or wish to seize 
upon the interior of Algeria, and merely intended keeping possession 
of a number of strong- positions on the sea-board, negotiations were 
opened with Abd-el-Kader : and ultimately a treaty was concluded 
with the new Prince of the Faithful, by which he was solemnly 
recognised as the lawful emir of the province of Mascara, with the 
exception of Oran, Arzew, and Mostaganem, and the immediately 
adjacent land. The Shelliff was to be his eastern boundary. 

This treaty was much cavilled at in France, as having a direct 
tendency to swell the prestige and enhance the authority of the 
emir with his turbulent, fanatical countrymen — a criticism fully 

18 



THE WAR IN ALGERIA. 

borne out by the result. It was not, however, very long* observed. 
Abd-el-Kader, urged by the impatient clamours of his Arabs, to 
which his own eager ambition gave willing- audience, to renew 
the holy war against the intrusive infidel, crossed the Shellilf 
(18:35) at the head of a numerous force, burning- with fanaticism, 
and individually brave enough, but withal little formidable in 
open fighting to French or any other European troops. General 
Trezel left Oran to encounter the audacious emir, but, after 
marching and countermarching- for several days in vain search 
of his enemy, was debating- whether it might not be advisable to 
abandon the seemingly hopeless attempt to bring the wary Arab 
to action, when an unforeseen and tempting chance presented itself. 
The army was halted on the plain of Frigur, where an Arab 
presented himself, and offered, for a certain reward, to conduct 
the French general by a short route direct to the emir's camp. 
General Trezel yielded to the temptation, the army was imme- 
diately put in motion, and the troops pressed forward with alacrity 
and vigour. Towards the middle of the day, the leading columns 
found themselves entering upon a spongy morass, and the more 
desperately they struggled onwards to reach the firm ground, 
which the guide assured them was only a few yards further on, the 
deeper both men and horses floundered and sank in the mud, till at 
last they were up to their bellies in the yielding soil. Suddenly the 
traitorous Arab disappeared through a coppice (taillis), unharmed 
by the shower of balls sent hastily after him, which, a moment 
after, were replied to by a tempest of the same missiles from the 
flanking woods, where Abd-el-Kader had been for some hours impa- 
tiently awaiting the French advance. Fortunately, the rear-guard 
had not yet entered the treacherous bog, and its fire checking that of 
the ambushed Arabs, the main body of the troops were extricated 
from their perilous position, though not without considerable loss 
both in men and material. The French army passed the night on 
the banks of the Sig, and at earliest dawn General Trezel marched, 
as he thought, towards Arzew, on the sea-coast. He followed the 
course of the Makta, a stream which, during a part of its flow, 
does lead towards Arzew, but by insensible windings turns away 
for some leagues in a totally different direction. The way seemed 
long, still the troops marched on undoubtingly, till they came to 
the entrance of a long narrow defile, shut in on each side by 
precipitous lofty rocks, where some hesitation was manifested. 
It appeared, however, of necessity that the ugly pass should be 
threaded ; there was no enemy to be seen, and the march was 
resumed in the quickest military time. Two-thirds of the distance 
had been accomplished, when tumultuous cries high overhead, as 
if a multitude of mocking voices were calling to them from the 
clouds, caused the soldiers to raise their eyes and see the heights 
crowded with exultant Arabs. The checked pulse had scarcely 
time to beat again before huge stones, enormous fragments of rock, 
came bounding, leaping, thundering down — a granite hail-tempest, 

19 



THE WAR IN ALGERIA. 

to which no resistance could be opposed, accompanied lr\- this 
pattering of musketry, not less fatal in its effects, though not 
so terrifying to the imagination, as huge jagged masses of 
rock whirling through the air ; and in a few minutes the 
dreadful pass was heaped with the dead and writhing bodies- 
of men and horses. The march of the troops, hurried from 
the first, fell rapidly into confusion, and presently became 
an utter rout, the soldiers casting* away even their arms in 
frantic anxiety to escape what seemed almost inevitable destruc- 
tion. Happily for them, the pursuit of the Arabs was checked 
by their eagerness for booty, or the loss of 1200 soldiers, besides 
caissons, cannon, baggage, &c, would have been nothing like 
the extent of the misfortune. This murderous business is Abd- 
el-Kader's great battle of Makta : it was a surprise, a massacre, 
perfectly justified no doubt by the usages of war, but a battle it 
cannot be called. The exultation of the emir, though quite 
natural, was absurd in its exaggeration. He had slain French 
troops, but he had not beaten, as he boasted, a French army, 
for the simple reason, that he had not encountered one. 

The shock of this disaster vibrated painfully through every vein 
of military France, and signal vengeance, it was promptly agreed, 
should be taken on the perfidious emir. General Clausel's 
reasoning upon the folly of attempting to quell the Kabyles and 
Arabs by a few settlements along- the coast, came suddenly into 
remembrance and favour, and that officer was himself despatched 
to the scene of action with reinforcements and large discretionary 
powers. As it was determined that Mascara, the emir's capital, 
should be stormed, as a Bet-off against Makta, and there could be 
no reasonable doubt of success in such an enterprise, the Duke of 
Orleans, Louis-Philippe's eldest son, was sent over to participate 
in the glory thereof. Abd-el-Kader, after vainly attempting to 
arrest the march of the French troops at the Sig, and subsequently 
at the Habrah, abandoned Mascara to its fate, which was first to 
be plundered by bands of hostile Arabs, and afterwards tired 
(December 9, 1S3G) by the French army; which done, General 
Clausel returned to Algiers, the Duke of Orleans to France. 

The measure of vengeance for Makta was not yet full ; and 
after permitting himself only a few weeks' breathing-time, General 
Clausel led his army against Tlemecen, the emir's second capital, 
on the confines of the Sahara, and 100 miles, in a south-westerly 
direction, from Oran. This city he also found abandoned by the 
emir and his Arabs, who had withdrawn into the eastern moun- 
tains. The Moors received the French with resigned indifference ; 
the Jews and Kooloolis, the latter of whom garrisoned the Kasiluih 
or citadel, with acclamations. The citadel was at once surrendered 
to the French general, who, after making- arrangements for the 
safe-keeping and government of the city, returned to Algiers by 
the valley of the Shelliff, on the south of* the Little Atlas, and con- 
sequently through the Pass of Teneah, between which and the 



THE WAR IK ALGERIA. 

Algerian capital he caused a military road to be constructed. A 
garrison was left in Tlemecen, under the command of Colonel, now 
General Cavnignac ; and Jussuf, colonel of Spahis, was charged 
with the collection of 500,000 francs, ordered by General Clause! 
to be levied upon the inhabitants that had so well received him. 
A more unscrupulous agent than the colonel of Spahis could not 
have been selected, and the Moors and Jews of Tlemecen were both 
numerous and wealthy ; yet, spite of all Jussuf could do in the 
way of ransacking", plundering", and threatening", only the value of 
100,000 francs could be obtained, and that chiefly consisting- in 
finger and ear rings, and other female ornaments. The remainder 
of the tribute was formally remitted. 

These successes gave a permanently bolder tone and wider 
aim to French-African policy. General Clausel was directed to 
organise a powerful expedition against Constantina, with the 
avowed object of annexing- that city, and the whole of the interior 
of the province which bears its name, to the French dominion 
in fact as well as theory. Success was deemed so certain, that 
Colonel Jussuf was named bey of the menaced city long- before 
the army commenced its march towards it; and in November 
1837, the Due de Nemours came over to share in the fame of an 
assured conquest. The result sig-nally rebuked these confident 
boastings. Constantina was numerously g-arrisoned by Turks and 
Kabvles, who fought under the red flag of Algiers ; and the 
usually brilliant and impetuous, if not very stubborn, valour of 
the French troops, would seem to have been chilled and weakened 
by the terrific hail and snow storm which they encountered upon 
the high land whereon Constantina is built ; for the assaults 
directed by the general upon the g-ates El Cantar and El Raba, 
feeble and ill sustained, were easily repulsed ; and so discouraged 
were the troops, that it was necessary to order an immediate 
retreat. A confused and hurried one it proved, involving- much 
loss, and affording- Algiers the strang-e spectacle of a numerous 
French army chased to its very g-ates by a crowd of undiscip- 
lined triumphant Kabvles ! The usual penalty of non-success, 
well or ill deserved, awaited General Clausel : he was recalled, 
spite of his earnest entreaties to be permitted an opportunity of 
retrieving- his tarnished reputation. ' What,' wrote the indignant 
general, l what would be now the fame of the Duke of Welling- 
ton, had the British g-overnment recalled him after the failure 
before Burgos ? ' The angry absurdity of the comparison is very 
amusing- ; and as the French ministry were unmoved by his 
appeal, we may fairly presume that they also demurred to the 
perfect appositeness of the illustration. 

In the meantime, General Bugeaud had been winning his first 
African laurels. By a rapid march along the sea-coast, he relieved 
Oran from the Arabs, by whom it was beleaguered; and then 
turning south-westward, he hastened to the succour of General 
Cavaignac, who had been for several months cooped up in 

21 



THE WAR IN ALGERIA. 

Tlemecen, inflicting- on his way a heavy defeat upon Ahd-el-Kader 
in person, by whom he was attacked whilst crossing the Sikhah. 
On this occasion, it should be remembered, to General Bugeaud's 
honour, the first successful attempt was made to prevent the native 
auxiliaries of the French, the Zouaves and Spahis, from decapitat- 
ing- the prisoners that fell within their power. General Bugeaud 
was quick enoug-h to save the lives of thirty of them ; and he 
interdicted, under no less a penalty than death to the offender, such 
practices in future. General Cavaig-nac was relieved, and Bugeaud 
returned to France — a li('i<tcna?it-geneTa\. 

General Danremont obtained the African command ; and as it 
was deemed imperatively necessary to efface the failure before 
Constantina by the capture of that city, preparations, civil as well 
as military, were diligently set on foot, which, once matured, 
would leave no doubt of triumph. The expeditionary army was 
to be composed of between 20,000 and 30,000 men ; but even that 
amount of force might prove inadequate while Abd-el-Kader'a 
numerous and daring, and though frequently defeated, still 
formidable forces, ranged the open country. Divide et impera is 
a maxim seldom lost sight of by civilised ministries ; and in this 
crisis of Algerian affairs, it was acted upon with great success by 
the cabinet of Paris. General Bugeaud, who had already made 
himself respected by Abd-el-Kader, was despatched to Africa 
with orders to arrange a truce with the emir — peace was the 
word used — upon any terms short of the surrender of the sea- 
line cities in the actual possession of France. This was the turning- 
point in the emir's career, and it argues ill for his patriotism, 
worse for his sagacity, that he permitted a personal repugnance to 
the Turkish Bey of Constantina, and a revengeful longing* to 
punish the Arab tribes that had refused him tribute, and defied 
his authority, to seduce him into making peace with the French 
invader at the very and only moment his hostility might have 
been effective. General Bugeaud, escorted by 10,000 men, met 
the emir on the banks of the Tafna, where a treaty of peace 
(May 30, 1837) was speedily agreed upon between the high con- 
tracting parties. The terms, readily consented to by the French 
envoy, were such as could only have been dictated by the emir if 
a conqueror, holding the very existence of France, in Algeria, in 
his hands. This alone, did he possess the clear intellect imputed 
to him by generous natures, prone to magnify into greatness the 
most ordinary qualities of those who, after bravely combating, 
fail in a just cause, should have sufficed to reveal the artifice 
employed against him. He was not only reconfirmed Emir of 
Mascara! but created Emir of Titteri. Tlemecen and Medeyah 
were surrendered to him, and his boundary was to be the ridge 
of the Northern Atlas ! In fact, France merely affected to 
retain Algiers, Mostaganem, Oran, Bona, and other sea-stations, 
whilst preparing to march inland to Constantina ! The treaty 
was signed ; General Bugeaud returned in triumph to Paris ; 

22 



THE WAR IN ALGERIA. 

Abd-el-Kader commenced his preparations for the punishment of 
the refractory Arabs ; and General Danremont, accompanied by 
the Due de Nemours, marched with the assured step of a conqueror 
upon Constantina. The garrison of Turks and Kabyles again 
offered a stout resistance, but not with the same good-fortune 
as before. General Danremont was killed by a cannon-ball 
whilst speaking to the Due de Nemours ; and the direction of 
the siege devolved upon General Vallee. Finally, the city was 
stormed, and after a deadly struggle, continued from the breach 
along the narrow streets, captured ; and the Due de Nemours 
took up his residence in the palace of the bey, who had escaped to* 
Tunis. 

Abd-el-Kader, on his part, was equally successful. The 
defection from his authority had been extensive. His uncle, Sidi 
A by Ben Taleb, not only disputed his descent from the Prophet,, 
and miraculous gifts, which, considering that he, Sidi Aby Ben 
Taleb, had been one of the family-council, is not so surprising, 
but positively refused to pay his nephew tribute, or, as our accus- 
tomed tongues would say, taxes. He thus expressed himself in 
:i letter which subsequently fell into the hands of the French : 
' Thou wert nothing before the arrival of the army of the French 
— thou wert nothing before thou madest a peace with those 
unbelievers. I was greater and holier than thou ; and it was in 
the hope of usurping my authority, O Abd-el-Kader ! that thou 
madest a treaty with the Christians. When thou thoughtest 
thyself great enough, thou brokest the treaty with the French, 
and now thou wilt that we should acknowledge thee for our 
sultan. But I have ever been greater and holier than thou, and 
never will I bow before thee ; neither will I pay the tribute 
which thy horsemen demand in thy name.' 

Bravely as these words sound, Sidi Aby Ben Taleb was com- 
pelled to pay his nephew tribute, and was very glad to be let off 
with no worse punishment for his contumacy; and after a pro- 
tracted struggle, the emir succeeded in overcoming all his 
domestic foes. His chief adversaries were Sidi-el-Aulid, Mustapha 
Ben Ismael, and Moressa Ben Kaoui. The first was early slain, 
the second perished in battle, and Moressa Ben Kaoui was 
driven into the Desert. This home-campaign employed the emir 
upwards of a twelvemonth ; and it was not till January 1839 
that the Arab and the Frenchman, disembarrassed of other foes, 
again confronted each other — both with the flush of victory upon 
their brows, mutually-courteous words upon their lips, and hate 
and scorn in their hearts, ready to leap forth, like their swords, 
at the first favourable opportunity, and upon the slightest provoca- 
tion. The emir sent General Vallee the journal of his recent 
triumphs, compiled by Leon Roche, a young Frenchman, who 
had acted as his secretary during the war ; and the French 
general sent in return some handsome presents to the emir. 

The first overt provocation to a renewal of hostilities was no 

23 



THE WAR IN ALGERIA. 

doubt given on this occasion by the Trench. In May 1839, the 
Duke of Orleans arrived in Algeria, visited Constantina surrounded 
by a brilliant cortege, and after distributing a profusion of decora- 
tions amongst the leading Moors, marched with ostentatious 
triumph through the Biban and the Iron Gates — a remarkable and 
lofty pass in the central Atlas chain — and, disdainful alike of licence 
or apology, through the territory of the Emir of Titteri and the Col 
de Teneah, back to Algiers. Abd-el-Kader's preparations were not 
yet complete, and he simply protested against the violation of his 
territory by his highness of Orleans. This was laughed at — not so 
the second holy war proclaimed by Abd-el-Kader in the following' 
October, the first huge wave of which, as in 1833, swept the open 
country with resistless violence. The unfortunate cultivators of 
the Metidjah were sabred, and their dwellings given to the flames, 
and many isolated detachments of French troops were over- 
whelmed and destroyed ; but as at the former period, steady 
bravery and discipline gradually prevailed against the fluctuating- 
impulses of fanatical enthusiasm ; and the Kabyles and Arabs were 
driven back to the fastnesses of the Atlas, where, during" three 
years, a war of razzias and guerilla adventure raged with varying 
fortune but equal ferocity on both sides. 

It was soon after the commencement of this second holy war, 
that the brilliant affair of Mazagran occurred, which, in the lan- 
guage of the Paris papers, flashed like a gleam of lightning (coup 
declair) athwart the deep gloom of the African war, and covered 
Captain Le Lievre and his heroic companions with imperishable 
glory. According- to the published reports, to which it almost 
seemed there would be no end, Captain Le Lievre, commanding- 
the 10th Company of the Battalion of Africa, numbering- 123 
young soldiers, was posted on the 1st of February 1840, at the 
small military post of Mazagran, distant somewhat less than two 
leagues by the road — much less in a direct line — from the garrison- 
town of Mostaganem, on the coast. Mazagran mounted one piece 
of artillery, a 4-pounder; and, besides a barrel of gunpowder in 
the magazine, the g-arrison had a supply of 30,000 ball-cartridges. 
Towards evening-, on the 1st of February, the post was suddenly 
attacked by 15,000 horsemen under Ben Khamr, who, moreover, 
were furnished with two pieces of cannon — 8-pounders. At the first 
shock, fourteen standards were planted on the wall of the devoted 
fortress, and, but for the close, rapid, murderous fire of the 10th 
Company, it must have been carried at once. As it was, the fierce 
billowy sea of Arabs was hurled back, scattered into spray as from 
a rock ; and the same fate attended their efforts, which were 
incessant during- the rest of the night, the following day, and night 
ag-ain. Colonel DubuesMl, who commanded at Mostaganem, 
continued not only unaccountably blind to the near presence of 
15,000 cavalry, but to the incessant roar of the cannon, and the 
interminable flashes of musketry ; whilst the continuity of the 
attack, as well as how thoroughly the post was encircled, is made 

24 



THE WAR IN ALGERIA. 

evident by the fact, that it was impossible to send a messenger to 
M' 9taganem, to warn the supine French commander of the peril 
of his countrymen. One apprehension alone disquieted Captain 
Le Lievre — would his ammunition last till either the garrison were 
relieved, or the Arabs driven off? During- a brief interval of quiet, 
the cartridges that remained were counted, and Captain Le Lievre 
addressed his soldiers in the following words : — ' Frenchmen, 
comrades, friends ! there are only ten thousand cartridges left. I 
propose continuing the defence till they are exhausted. I shall 
then fire the barrel of gunpowder in the magazine, too happy t'j 
die for our country. Vive la France ! ' 

1 Vive la France ! ' echoed the excited soldiers, with wild 
enthusiasm, and, rushing back to the walls, re-opened their terrific 
tire upon the astounded assailants, scarcely a bullet sent amongst 
whom, from their crowded numbers, failing of its aim : the 
slaughter amongst them may therefore be approximately estimated 
by the number of used-up cartridges. Two more days and nights 
the desperate contest continued, when, and not an hour too soon, 
for the cartridges were almost exhausted, Dubuessil heard in 
some way of what was going on at MazagTan, marched to its 
relief, and the surviving Arabs fled ! 

The foregoing is really a cold weak summary of the details of 
this extraordinary affair, as published in the Moniteur and the 
non- official Paris papers. Captain Le Lievre was made a 
commandant, and had the cross of the Legion of Honour 
conferred upon him. Nothing else was talked of for many weeks : 
a huge mimic Mazagran was got up in the Champs Elysees — it 
Was stamped upon paper-hangings, pocket-handkerchiefs, painted 
upon the scenes of theatres, engraved in every variety of style ; 
and Mazagran pantaloons, hats, gloves, shawls, &c, became 
instantly and universally the vogue. At length it began to be 
whispered, that the officer commanding at Mostaganem had 
demanded a court-martial either upon himself or Captain Le 
Lievre, nobody knew exactly which, for the Paris papers, like 
the Moniteur Algerien from the first, had suddenly become 
religiously silent upon the subject. Next it was said, that the 
subscription raised for the widows and orphans of the fallen heroes 
was to be returned — not a single soldier of the 10th Battalion of 
Africa having been either slain or wounded in the terrible defence 
of Mazagran! Finally, the London Morning Chronicle boldly 
proclaimed and challenged the French government, day after day, 
to contradict its statement — that the Mazagran story was a flam, 
an invention from end to end ! Only one Paris newspaper, Le 
National, reprinted the Chronicle's exposure, evidently derived 
from unquestionable authority, and demanded explanation of the 
government. The government answered not a word — all allu- 
sion to the subject was dropped by general consent, and has not 
since been revived ; Captain Le Lievre the while keeping- the 
step in rank he had acquired, his cross, and a handsome sword 

.25 



THE WAR IN ALGERIA. 

presented to him by the merchants of Marseille!. Who the hoax 
originated in, it would be idle to inquire — possibly the government, 
desirous of relieving the public anxiety relative to the renewed 
and formidable outbreak in Algeria by a well got- up if somewhat 
extravagant popular fiction ; but whoever its author may be, it 
offers only a more flagrant proof than others, of the bold impunity 
with which African army news has been habitually got up and 
seasoned to the palate of the French people. Keal fighting, 
however, if not of the super-humanly heroic Mazagran kind, had 
begun in serious earnest. 

General Bugeaud, who had replaced Marshal Vallee, or- 
ganised a plan of campaign by movable columns, radiating" from 
Algiers, Oran, and Constantina; and having 100,000 excellent 
soldiers at his disposal, the results, as against the emir, were slowly 
but surely effective. General Negrier at Constantina, Chang-arnier 
amongst the Hadjouts about Medeyah and Milianah, Cavaignac 
and Lamoriciere in Oran, carried out the commander-in-chief's 
instructions with untiring- energy and perseverance; and in the 
spring 1 of 1843, the Due cFAumale, in company with General 
Chang-arnier, surprised the emir's camp, in the absence of the 
greater part of his force, and it was with difficulty that he himself 
escaped. Not long afterwards, he took refuge in Morocco, excited 
the fanatical passions of the populace of that empire, and thereby 
forced its ruler, Mulei-Abd-er-Haman, much ag-ainst his own 
inclination, into a war with France — a war very speedily terminated 
by General Bugeaud's victory of Isly, with some slight assistance 
from the bombardment of Tangier and Mogador by the Prince de 
Joinville. Upon this occasion, an understanding- was come to with 
Great Britain, by which the retention of Algeria by France was 
acquiesced in, upon the agreed condition that the French dominion 
should not be extended either east or west -in other words, (hat the 
independence of Morocco and Tunis should be respected. The 
governor-general returned to Paris soon after his victory of Isly, 
which made him a peer and marshal of France, but not till he had 
taken measures for encircling the plain of the Metidjah with a wall, 
ditch, and chain of block-houses, for the much-needed protection of 
its still sparsely scattered cultivators — nearly one-half of whom, by 
the way, are Spaniards and Germans. 

The star of Abd-el-Kader's military life had not yet finally set, 
though obscured by clouds, and rapidly nearing the western horizon. 
The struggle amidst the hills was maintained by his partisans with 
scarcely abated vigour, even whilst he himself still lingered at the 
half-friendly, half-hostile court of Morocco; and it was nothing 
doubted, that the emir would make yet another trial of his fortune 
before abandoning- the unequal strugg-le in despair. There is 
only one incident in this intermediate, desultory warfare which it 
is essential to reproduce in these pages, but that one is of so terribly 
significant a character, that it cannot be omitted in a paper designed 
to give the reader a true impression of the character of the war in 



THE "WAR IN ALGERIA. 

Algeria. We will endeavour to state it without prejudice or 
exaggeration. On the night of the 12th June 1845, about three 
months before Marshal Bugeaud left Algeria, Colonels Pelissier 
and St Arnaud, at the head of a considerable force, attempted 
a razzia upon the tribe of Ben-Ouled-Riah, numbering" in men, 
women, and children, about 700 persons. This was in the Dahrah. 
The Arabs escaped the first clutch of their pursuers, and when 
hard pressed, as they soon were, took refuge in the cave of 
Khartani, which had some odour of sanctity about it: some holy 
man or maraboot had lived and died there, we believe. The 
French troops came up quickly to the entrance, and the Arabs 
were summoned to surrender. They made no reply ; possibly they 
did not hear the summons, or perhaps the courage of despair had 
steeled them to await the attack of their foes, however numerous 
and sure of ultimate victory those foes might be, and endeavour 
to sell their lives as dearly as possible in the holy and vantage 
ground they had happily reached. Colonels Pelissier and St 
Arnaud would certainly not have been justified in sacrificing the 
lives of the soldiers under their command by attempting to force a 
passage through windings and intricacies thronged with armed and 
desperate men ; but as there was no other outlet from the cave than 
that by which the Arabs entered, a few hours' patience must have 
been rewarded by the unconditional surrender of the imprisoned 
tribe. Colonels Pelissier and St Arnaud were desirous of a 
speedier result; and by their order, an immense fire Avas kindled at 
the mouth of the cave, and fed sedulously during the summer night 
with wood, grass, reeds, anything that would help to keep up the 
volume of smoke and flame which the wind drove in roaring, 
whirling- eddies into the mouth of the cavern. It was too late now 
for the unfortunate Arabs to offer to surrender. The discharge of 
a cannon would not have been heard in the roar of that huge blast- 
furnace, much less smoke-strangled cries of human agony. The 
fire was kept well up throughout the night; and when the day 
had fully dawned, the then expiring embers were kicked aside, 
and as soon as a sufficient time had elapsed to render the air 
of the silent cave breathable, some soldiers were directed to ascer- 
tain how matters were within. They were gone but a few minutes, 
and they came back, we are told, pale, trembling*, terrified, hardly 
daring, it seemed, to confront the light of day. No wonder they 
trembled and looked pale. They had found all the Arabs dead — 
men, women, children, all dead ! had beheld them lying just as 
death had found and left them : the old man grasping his gray 
beard; the younger one, grim, rigid, stern as iron with fanatic 
hatred and despair; the dead mother clasping her dead child with 
the steel gripe of the last struggle, when all gave way but her strong 
love! 

This is no fancy picture ; it is the plain record of an indisputable, 
undisputed fact, justified on the elastic plea of necessity. The 
French ministry of the day, moreover, in order to mark, it seemed, 

27 



THE WAR IN ALGERIA. 



their contempt for the indignant clamour which the recital of the 
dreadful deed excited in France, as well as in other civilised com- 
munities, actually rewarded, with an air of courageous deiiance of 
public opinion, which but thinly masked the real pusillanimity of 
their conduct — the favour of the army being* in issue — Messieurs 
Pelissier and St Arnaud with a step in their profession ! It was 
in reference to this tragedy that Marshal Soult used the words we 
have before quoted — 'that what would be a crime against civilisa- 
tion in Europe, might be a justifiable necessity in Africa.' In a 
subsequent debate upon the affairs of Algeria, an eminent French 
statesman observed, amidst the loud cheering of the National 
Assembly, l that he was reconciled to the enormous sacrifices 
required of France by the exigencies of the African colony, by the 
value he attached to the warlike experience and habits the French 
army had acquired there.' It is seldom that eloquent sentences 
are so speedily and strikingly illustrated as in this instance, the 
morning- of the 2d of December 1851 having seen both the orator 
and his applauding audience seized and hurried to prison by soldiers 
whose habits had been contracted in Algeria, acting under the 
orders of Colonel, by that time General, fet Arnaud, and minister 
of war ! A more luminous commentary upon the dangerous 
unsoundness of Marshal Soult's geographical ethics, and the folly 
of supposing that, to decorate men for outraging humanity in 
Africa, is to train them to respect law and right in Europe, could 
hardly be imagined. 

We now turn the last page as yet written of Abd-el-Kader's 
public life. Driven, at the instance of France, from the cities of 
Morocco ; he still lingered on its half-desert frontiers, and gradually 
drew tog-ether a considerable force. If the emperor of Morocco 
did not wish to involve himself in another war with France, it 
was imperatively necessary that he should at once take decisive 
measures against the obstinate and impracticable emir. He 
resolved to do so, and without delay. An army, chiefly composed 
of the Kabyles of Morocco— who, especially if considerable booty, 
as in this case, was likely to be obtained, were nothing loath to do 
battle with Arabs — was hastily assembled, and sent against Abd-el- 
Kader, with orders to drive him out of the Morocco territory, 
whatever expenditure of life might be necessary to effect that 
object. The emir, rinding he could not avoid the contest, 
boldly assumed the offensive, and in an attack on the night of 
the 20th December 1845, obtained a momentary triumph, by an 
expedient as extraordinary as it was cruel. General Lamoriciere 
thus describes the emir's strange ruse: ' Abd-el-Kader plastered 
four camels all over with pitch, loaded them with immense heaps 
of dried grass, mixed up with pitch, and had them conducted in 
the dead of night to the edge of the Morocco camp by four soldiers, 
who had been previously paid 100 douros each for the service, and 
there set on fire.' The plunging and tearing about of the maddened, 
flaming animals, produced, as was expected, much consternation 

28 



THE WAR IN ALGERIA. 

find confusion amongst the Morocco troops, greatly increased by the 
impetuous charge of Abd-el-Kader's horsemen, led by the emir in 
person, and for some time the advantage was greatly on the side 
of the assailants ; but the hour of dawn, shewing* the Morocco 
Kabyles the fewness in number comparatively with themselves of 
the Arabs, and the camel-meteors having- long" since burnt them- 
selves out, was that of hopeless, irretrievable defeat. The emir's 
entire force was either destroyed or dispersed ; and the only 
alternative left him, was either to surrender upon terms to 
General Lamoriciere, who had been anxiously awaiting- the issue 
of the struggle between Abd-el-Kader and Abd-er-Haman, or to 
endeavour to escape by the eastern mountains. The French 
general, upon hearing' of his defeat, despatched Bou Kraii with 
twelve chosen Spahis, to endeavour to intercept him, if, as was 
likely, he should take tin 1 road through the Col de Kerbores. The 
completeness of the emirs defeat is strikingly shewn by General 
Lamoriciere's letter to tlfe Due d'Aumale, at this time governor- 
general of Algeria, announcing- the precaution he had taken to 
prevent Abd-el-Kader's escape, though doubtful that he should 
be able to do so : ' Bou Kraii, with twelve Spahis, will be stronger 
than the entire escort of him whom only yesterday Morocco 
struggled against with 38,000 men. There was no opening 
for the services of the Spahis. The fallen emir determined 
on surrendering- himself to General Lamoriciere upon certain 
conditions, which were negotiated through the Cadi of Tlemecen, 
who, General Lamoriciere states, was of great service to him 
in the affair. The terms were agreed upon, first verbally, but 
afterwards reduced to writing, and subscribed by both parties. 
In reality, there was only one essential condition, which was 
thus stated in a dispatch from General Lamoriciere to the 
Due d'Aumale, dated 23d December, at nine o'clock in the 
morning : l Let it suffice, that I assure you I have only pro- 
mised and stipulated that the emir and his family shall be 
conveyed to Alexandria or to St Jean d'Acre : they are the 
places which he himself indicated in the conditions which 
I accepted.' The great news of Abd-el-Kader's surrender 
brought the Due d'Aumale to the French camp, where General 
Cavaignac had previously arrived. The governor - general 
personally assured the emir, that he entirely approved and con- 
tinued the engagement which he, Abd-el-Kader, had entered into 
with the general to whom, upon the faith of that engagement, he 
had surrendered himself, and that it would be religiously respected. 
The Due d'Aumale, who, there can be no question, acted through- 
out the transaction with perfect good faith, and within the limits 
of his official powers, announced the emir's surrender to the 
French minister of war in the following terms : — ' Monsieur le 
Ministre — A great event has just been accomplished. Abd-el- 
Kader is in our camp. Beaten by the Kabyles of Morocco, chased 
from the plains of Moolouia bv the troops of Mulei-Abd-er-Haman ; 

29 



THE WAR IN ALGERIA. 

abandoned by his people, who took refuge in our territory, he has 
confided himself to the generosity of France, and lias surrendered 
upon condition of being- conveyed either to Alexandria or to St 
Jean d'Acre.' There is a trifling- slip here, intended, no doubt, as 
a rhetorical flourish. Abd-el-Kader had not confided himself to 
the generosity of France — that is, of the government of France — 
for he had made a bargain with her representatives, binding them, 
with all the power that a solemn engagement possesses, to convey 
him to one of the two places named in the deed of surrender — he 
undertaking not to return without the permission of France to 
Algeria. Ihere lingered, it is plain, in the Due d'Aumale's mind, 
a harassing doubt of the good faith of his father's government, 
for he goes on to say : ' The moment I arrived here, I ratified 
the engagement made by General Lamoriciere ; and I have the 
firm hope that the government of the king will sanction it.' And 
as if resolved that there shall be no excuse for unfair dealing, he 
insists that the emir's, surrender was entirely voluntary on his 
part : ' The emir had in his favour darkness, a difficult country 
traversed by paths unknown to our guides. Flight was still easy 
for him.' 

Steam swiftly conveyed the important news to France, and as 
swiftly returned with the reply of the Paris cabinet : Abd-el- 
Kader must embark immediately for that country! Accordingly, 
he, his mother, three children, his cousin and brother-in-law, Hadj 
Mustapha, and suite, in all ninety-three persons, embarked in the 
steam-ship Axmodec — not an unfitly named vessel — and arrived 
safely at Toulon, after a stormy passage, on the evening of the 
30th December 1845, to find themselves close prisoners, probably 
for life — at all events, for an indefinite period, the probable termi- 
nation of which could not be even approximately indicated by the 
French ministers themselves. Not long afterwards, Abd-el-Kader 
himself, his family, and such persons of his suite as he chose to 
name, were transferred to the Castle of Amboise, on the left bank 
of the Loire, between Blois and Tours. 

Strange, unlooked-for events knocked at the gate of the old 
castle, and glanced in at the captive, with a promise of relief, 
during the seven weary years which the unfortunate emir lin- 
gered through there : the dethronement, exile, and death of the 
monarch in whose name he had been imprisoned — the setting up 
of a republic, whose shibboleth was freedom ! liberty ! Illusive 
promise-breakers all ! The chafed spirit of the emir still hopelessly 
fretted itself against the unmoving bars of his dungeon, when, 
like a shift of scene in a theatre, the door flew open, a mass of 
glittering uniforms floated in with the sudden light-burst, and 
the bewildered captive felt the chains put on by a king and rivetted 
by a republic fall off, as if by magic, at the voice of one who but 
the other day was a prisoner like himself, and in apparently more 
hopeless bondage ! Whatever may have been the motives of 
Louis Napoleon in freeing Abd-el-Kader— perhaps delight in the 

30 



THE WAR IN ALGERIA. 

exhibition of supreme power, a wish to obtain a reputation for 
chivalric generosity at the cost of a cheap unhazardous magna- 
nimitv, the desire to contrast his own conduct towards the emir as 
strikingly as possible with that of the foregoing 1 royal and repub- 
lican g-overnments — matters very little, after all, to any one but 
himself. The act itself was a just and honourable one; and the 
manlier in which it was performed added greatly — an important 
consideration in France — to its dramatic effect. In truth, one can 
hardly imagine a more effective incident. Consider it for a moment. 
The place, a royal castle of the elder Bourbons, built by Charles 
VI., where Louis XI. instituted the order of St Michael, and 
Charles VIII. was born and died; the captive to be set free, origi- 
nally a prisoner of the monarch who had usurped the hereditary 
of those ancient kings; and the liberator himself, though hi* 
foot was now upon the step of an imperial throne, but a brief space- 
previously having escaped from the custody of Abd-el-Kader's 
jailer, in the dress of a labourer, a rough heavy plank borne across 
the shoulder, soon to be graced by the imperial mantle ! The dia- 
logue of this showy piece de circonstance was not less bizarre and 
misplaced than its other accessories. 'I believe you,' said Louis 
Napoleon, addressing the emir, ' to be capable of resigning yourself, 
as both your religion and mine enjoins us to do, to the circumstances 
of the position in which you are placed, and thus your word is sacred : 
I rely upon it confidently, knowing, as I do, that amongst honour- 
able men no other bond is required ! ' To which the emir replied 
by commanding one of his suite to read aloud a passage from the 
Koran, which denounces the breaking of a promise, though made to 
an unbeliever, as a dishonour and a crime ! There, reader, you may 
travel far and read much before you light upon so amusing and 
suggestive a scene as this, enacted late in the fall of last year at 
the royal castle of Amboise. 

Abd-el-Kader left France just as the news of the storming of 
Laghouat by General Pelissier, of Dahrah-Cave memory, arrived 
in that country ; unmistakable evidence, were any required, that 
the war, of which we have endeavoured to present a faithful, 
unexaggerated outline, is not yet at an end — a result much, we 
think, to be regretted for the sake of the native population them- 
selves. They can never hope to expel France from their sea-frontier ; 
they are hemmed in east and west by numerous populations^ 
bitterly hostile— through dread of France, no doubt, but still 
bitterly hostile — as the sanguinary overthrow of Abd-el-Kader by 
the Morocco troops clearly shewed ; and although even thus 
crippled, and divided as they are amongst themselves, the fast- 
nesses of the Atlas might perhaps be held for an indefinite time, 
the prolongation of a conflict without reasonable hope or definite 
aim, must be chiefly hurtful to the aborigines themselves. A 
maritime war would no doubt totally change the conditions of the 
strife ; but we doubt whether the compelled evacuation of Algeria 
by France, supposing no other European nation willing or able to 

31 



THE WAR IN ALGERIA. 

supply her place, would not be the greatest misfortune that could 
befall the natives, now that the smashing, slaving-, firing- part of 
the business must be pretty well over. They have been forcibly 
brought into contact with a more potent civilisation than their own, 
by winch they must ultimately be greatly benefited ; railways, 
the precursors of material progress, are, it is said, about to be 
constructed on the plains ; and the government, by the establish- 
ment of schools, evince a laudable anxiety to advance their moral 
as well as physical condition. The subjug-ation of Alg-eria, so far 
as it has g-one, has assuredly added nothing- to the reputation of 
the French armies either for prowess or humanity ; but the 
civilisation of Northern Africa presents an ample field for exertion, 
success in which will make amends for the past, and cause men 
to acknowledg-e, with unalloyed satisfaction, the signal service 
rendered to mankind by France in putting- down the vast and 
formidable system of piracy which, for three centuries, had been 
permitted to org-anise and intrench itself on the shores of the 
Mediterranean. 





THE RETREAT OF THE TEN THOUSAND. 



MONG the records of the ancient world, 
v -^4 there are few more full of interest and 
excitement than the history of the expedi- 
tion undertaken by the Younger Cyrus, to 
dethrone his brother Artaxerxes, which 
resulted in the far-famed retreat of the ten 
7 thousand Greeks. In all ages, the court of Persia 
has been the scene of intrigues and jealousies 
between brothers, each endeavouring to supplant 
the others, and to elevate himself to the throne 
through their ruin. Despotic power quenches the natural affec- 
tions, inspiring men with that fierce and devouring ambition 
which obliterates the landmarks of relationship, and sacrifices 
remorselessly all the best feelings of the heart to selfishness. 

When Darius, after a long' and prosperous reign, lay on his 
death-bed, the feelings of the king gave way to those of the 
father, and he desired to behold and embrace his two sons before 
taking leave of them for ever.- As a politician, he might have 
foreseen that this step would probably lead to disastrous conse- 
quences ; since it was evidently to prevent a collision of interests 
between the rival princes that, while he retained Artaxerxes at 
court, he had sent Cyrus into the distant province of Asia Minor, 
where, as satrap, he governed all the warlike races who, in times 
of danger, were accustomed to assemble on the plains of Castolus. 
Parysatis, the mother of the young men, with that caprice of 
No. 21. i 




THE RETREAT OF THE TEN THOUSAND. 

which we have so many examples in life and history, loved exclu- 
sively her younger son, while towards the elder she would appear 
to have heen actuated by a feeling- akin to hatred. Her policy, 
accordingly, was to invest Cyrus with all possible power and 
influence ; and it may even be suspected, that she actively 
encouraged his attempts upon the throne, and therefore on his 
brother's life. The reason for this conduct may be found in the 
fact, that Artaxerxes, giving- easy credence to accusations, well or 
ill founded, had determined on putting his brother to death; 
though he had suffered himself to be deterred from committing 
this crime by the natural authority of his mother. Escaped from 
this danger, Cyrus, burning with indignation and the thirst of 
vengeance, returned to his government, where he immediately 
began to take measures for dethroning his brother, and making 
himself king of Persia. The disorganised state of the empire at 
that period, supplied him with the means and the opportunity. It 
was a common thing for the satraps of different provinces to make 
war upon each other, in furtherance of their own private views, to 
enlarge their delegated dominion, to increase their revenues, or to 
gratify that taste for strife and slaughter which appears to be 
inherent in the nature of some men. Instead of discouraging 
these odious contests, the Persian court looked upon them with 
pleasure, because they exhausted the resources of those powerful 
vassals, whose ambition might otherwise have led them to aim at 
imperial authority. On the confines of Cyrus's government, a 
restless, intriguing, and profligate nobleman, rendered infamous 
in history under the name of Tissaphernes, cherished a peculiar 
rancour towards the king's brother, against whose life he had 
conspired at court ; and whom, when he had failed by treachery 
to cut him off, he sought to destroy by open force. Against 
this man's attacks it was necessary to be provided, and, therefore, 
as the Persians had degenerated, and become at once treacherous 
and effeminate, Cyrus took into his service a number of Greeks, 
who, addicted to the military profession, and delighting in wild 
and daring adventures, were always ready to lend their swords 
to any one who could supply them with subsistence and the 
chances of glory. Another pretext for raising an army was 
found in the hostile attitude assumed by the Pisidians, a martial 
race, inhabiting the mountains lying to the east of Cyrus's satrapy. 
These it was judged necessary to chastise or to subdue, and none 
but Greeks were considered equal to so arduous and dangerous 
a service. 

Various circumstances in the condition of the times favoured 
the development of Cyrus's policy. The rivalry between Athens 
and Sparta, which had involved all the Grecian states in a long 
and sanguinary war, had been then, for a short season, extin- 
guished ; while along the frontier of Greece wandered numerous 
exiles, driven into banishment by the peculiar accidents of Hellenic 
civilisation, which carried the government of states by parties to 
2 



TIIE RETREAT OF THE TEN THOUSAND. 

its utmost development, and led to the extreme persecution of the 
vanquished by the victor. Nearly all these exiles were men 
versed in the arts of war, and burning- with the desire to distin- 
guish themselves. When, therefore, through various channels, 
Cyrus's ostensible views became known in Greece and its northern 
colonies, numbers of intrepid adventurers crowded to Sardis, the 
cnpital of the ancient kings of Lydia, where they were invariably 
welcomed, and treated hospitably by the Persian prince. Chief 
among these was Clearchus, a Lacedaemonian exile, whose cha- 
racter history has delineated in striking though harsh colours, but 
whose fate we are, nevertheless, compelled strongly to lament. 
His whole life had been passed in the study of war, and in 
acquiring those arts which enable one man to sway the minds 
of thousands, bend them to his purposes, and precipitate them 
irresistibly into the track of good or evil. Next to him in 
influence was Menon, a Thessalian, who, in any period of the 
world's history, must have played a conspicuous, if not an 
honourable part. It would be difficult, in the whole records of 
the past, to discover traces of any man more thoroughly desti- 
tute of principle. Like Caesar and Borgia, he set at defiance 
all the laws by which human society is held together, and 
throughout his short life, aimed exclusively at the single point 
of self-aggrandisement. Another general, more remarkable for 
his virtue than for great or shining qualities — Proxenus the 
Boeotian — was accidentally the cause of nearly all the glory which 
from age to age has accumulated round the retreat of the Ten 
Thousand, since it was by his persuasion that Xenophon the 
Athenian accompanied the expedition as a volunteer. This man, 
otherwise well known as a disciple of Socrates, had, in the most 
difficult and dangerous circumstances, the honour to preserve the 
lives of his countrymen, to lead them through mountainous ranges, 
in all ages deemed impassable to an army, and to conduct them 
triumphantly to the shores of the Black Sea, where they found 
themselves in the midst of Greek colonies, on the confines of the 
regular civilisation of the ancient world. Other generals also 
joined Cyrus, whose panegyric the historian includes in the brief 
hut expressive words, that ' they were blameless in war and 
friendship.' 

Having, for the purposes enumerated, brought together at 
Sardis upwards of 14,000 Greeks, a majority of whom were 
heavy armed ; while about 2000 bearing light shields, and equipped 
for expedition, were denominated targeteers — Cyrus prepared to 
march. His Persian army consisted of 100,000 men, including a 
large proportion of cavalry, in which, it should be observed, the 
Greeks were wholly wanting. For all such operations, therefore, as 
devolved on mounted troops, they were dependent on these Asiatics, 
which will account for many of the events that afterwards befell 
them. As might naturally be supposed, Cyrus, as long as possible, 
concealed his policy from all but the principal leaders. Skirmishes 



THE RETREAT OF THE TEN THOUSAND. 

with Tissaphernes, a mountain warfare with the Pisidians, or the 
siege of hostile cities like Miletus, constituted, in the apprehension 
of the soldiers, all the services that would be required of them. 
It never entered into their minds to imagine they should be led 
against the Great King-, or, considering- the stupendous range of 
mountains, inhabited by fierce and savage races, the rugged and 
dangerous defiles, the wide deserts, and the vast rivers they should 
have to traverse, they would probably have thrown up the enter- 
prise in disgust, and preferred a life of adventure, with less 
dazzling" prospects, nearer home. However, the army, Greeks and 
barbarians, at length departed from Sardis, and turning' their faces 
towards the East, marched across the plains of Asia Minor, along* 
the road now used by the caravans between Smyrna and Syria. 

At first they encountered no opposition, but afterwards entered 
upon what might he considered an enemy's country. Even here, 
owing" to peculiar circumstances, little or no obstruction was 
encountered , though, on arriving" at the city of Tarsus, the capital 
of Cilicia, Menon the Thessalian, in revenge for an attack made 
upon the Greeks in the mountains, sacked and plundered it, while 
as many of the inhabitants as he could capture, he sold for slaves. 
This involved Cyrus in some difficulty with Syennesis, king of the 
country ; but when this had been amicably settled, the army con- 
tinued its march until it arrived at the foot of Mount Taurus, 
where a narrow passage, lying along the face of cliffs and preci- 
pices, leads into Syria. Strong towers with numerous garrisons 
commanded on both sides the entrance to this formidable pass, for 
which reason Cyrus had provided a fleet of galleys sufficient, in 
case he should here encounter protracted resistance, to transport 
his forces by sea. Abrocomas, however, the satrap of the pro- 
vince, instead of defending the pass, hastily retreated towards the 
Euphrates, with an army amounting, it was said, to 300,000 men. 
Cyrus, consequently, soon found himself in the valleys of the Upper 
Lebanon, where, devastating the parks, and destroying the palaces 
of the satraps, but offering apparently no injury to the peaceful 
inhabitants, he rested some time, and refreshed the soldiers. 
Here an incident happened which enabled Cyrus, who had been 
endowed by nature with many popular and noble qualities, to 
recommend himself strongly to the Grecian army. Zenias and 
Pasion, who had joined the expedition with considerable bodies of 
troops raised by themselves, having been disgusted by the going 
over of these soldiers to Clearchus, privately hired a galley, 
deserted the Persian service, and sailed away by night. When 
this was made known to the prince, he called the Greeks together, 
and addressing them through an interpreter, declared that the 
escape of the two commanders was not concealed from him. He 
added, that it -would be easy, with the number of ships at his 
command, to overtake the fugitives, bring them back, and punish 
them : ' But/ said he, feeling or affecting Hellenic sentiments, ' it 
shall never be said of me, that so long as men are useful, I avail 

4 



THE RETREAT OF THE TEN THOUSAND. 

myself of their services, but as soon as they experience an inclina- 
tion to resume their independence, I pursue and destroy them. 
On the contrary, the wives and children of these men, who are 
now in my power, shall immediately be sent to them, tog-ether 
with whatever property they may have left behind.' Such 
language could not but fail to produce a powerful effect on men 
grateful and gallant by nature, and thenceforward it was observed 
that the Greeks- obeyed Cyrus far more cheerfully than before. 
Every day's march eastward served to confirm the suspicions of 
the army, that it was to be led against the Great King-, as the 
Persian monarch was then habitually denominated. But all 
disguise was not laid aside till their arrival on the banks of the 
Euphrates, a river upwards of half a mile in breadth, which, 
rising- in the mountains of Armenia, drains all the waters of that 
part of Asia, and flows in one mighty stream towards the Persian 
Gulf. It would be wholly impossible for us, with our modern 
ideas and knowledge of history and geog-raphy, to place before our 
minds the strange pictures which crowded on the fancy of the 
Greeks, as they stood by the waters of the Euphrates, and endea- 
voured to represent to themselves the wonders of the gorgeous 
realms lying- in fabulous magnificence beyond them. They felt 
the fascination and spell of the Arabian desert, breathing- its 
invigorating influence. They beheld before them the plains of 
Mesopotamia ; they saw encamped close at hand an immense 
army of barbarians, ostensibly their allies, but ready, they could 
not doubt, to become at any moment their enemies, in case of any 
disaster happening to Cyrus. It w T as not, therefore, at all unnatural 
that they should hesitate to traverse the Euphrates, or be angry 
with their g-enerals for having- led them thus far without dis- 
closing- to them the nature of the service in which they were to 
be engaged. Besides, they had experienced the usual effects of 
serving an Oriental despot, for such, whatever might be the 
suavity of his manners or the generosity of his mind, Cyrus 
undoubtedly was. They had been buoyed up with brilliant pro- 
mises, but their pay had been always in arrear, their commissariat 
ill supplied, and their prospects obviously uncertain ; besides, 
rumour had brought to them an account of the king's army, 
exceeding in number 1,200,000 men, supplied amply with pay 
and provisions, and having in the country behind them an 
unrivalled base of operations. It required, consequently, no 
small display of eloquence to induce them to pass over into 
Mesopotamia, where, unless they proved conquerors, they could 
look for no other fate than to be cut off to a man. While the 
other Greeks were by these considerations kept in suspense, 
Menon called his Thessalians together, and placing before their 
imagination a seductive picture of the advantages which must 
accrue to them from obliging Cyrus, persuaded them to cross the 
Euphrates. After this, there existed no hesitation in the rest of 
the army. All traversed the river, and that, too, by fording it, 



THE RETREAT OF THE TEN THOUSAND. 

though the inhabitants of Thapsacus affected to regard this as a 
miracle, pretending- that the Euphrates had become shallow out of 
deference to its future king. The place at which they traversed 
it, however, was a noted ford — usually very shallow — for the 
travellers from Palestine, Phoenicia, and Damascus, into Nineveh, 
Media, Assyria, and Eastern Armenia. The modern name of 
Thapsacus (Dar) signifies, indeed, a passage. 

Being now in Mesopotamia, the chances of encountering the 
royal forces continually increased, so that the army marched in 
greater order than previously ; but no enemy appearing during 
many days, they resumed the habitual carelessness of soldiers, and 
indulged with passionate eagerness in the amusements of the 
chase. Then, as now, an extensive desert stretched eastward 
from the Euphrates, in which the soldiers enjoyed the pastime of 
hunting the ostrich and the wild-ass, both far too fleet to be over- 
taken in running even by the swiftest horses. Success was only to 
be obtained by posting numerous relays in the course of the chase ; 
for thus, by a constant succession of fresh horses, the game was 
run down and taken. Xenophon praises the flesh of the wild-ass 
for its delicacy and tenderness. He seems to have heard nothing 
of the lions which, according to Thevenot, were found two 
centuries ago in the same wilderness, particularly where it borders 
upon the Tigris, in the neighbourhood of the romantic city of 
Mosul. To command an inexhaustible supply of fresh water, 
Cyrus was careful to conduct his army close to the Euphrates, by 
a track upon which modern research has thrown little light. They 
crossed two rivers, the Araxes and the Masca — the latter without 
a name in modern geography, but the former identical with the 
Kabour. Then, as now, ruined cities were common in Persia, 
where misgovernment rises sometimes to such a pitch, that the 
inhabitants of whole districts take to flight, and either seek refuge 
among the Kurds and Arabs, or disperse and melt into the general 
population of the country. Here and there, on the banks of the 
Euphrates, they found large quarries, and the natives engaged in 
fashioning millstones, which they transported to Babylon, and 
other great cities of the empire, and thus earned a subsistence. 
During this part of the march, the army suffered greatly from 
want of provisions ; and the Greeks, at least, were reduced to live 
entirely on flesh. Their sumpter-animals died from fatigue, and 
great discouragement prevailed among the soldiers. At length, 
in descending the river, they arrived opposite a populous city of 
Arabia, on which Xenophon bestows the name of Carmande. To 
this the soldiers crossed over on rafts, and purchased such provi- 
sions as they needed. These rafts were composed of skins stufled 
with hay, and bound carefully together ; and the articles of 
provision supplied by the Arabs consisted chiefly of palm-wine, 
and a sort of grain called panic by some writers, probably the 
dhonrra sr/i of the present day. 

At this place happened a sedition in the Grecian camp, which 



THE RETREAT OF THE TEN THOUSAND. 

itened destruction to the whole army, though it arose out of a 
very trivial cause. We learn from it, however, that between 
Menon and Clearchus there existed a constant rivalry, which, being* 
shared in by their men, was ready at any moment to disturb the 
e of the camp. On this occasion, the Spartan general, 
witnessing an altercation between one of his own soldiers and a 
folio Aver of Menon, struck the latter, upon which his companions 
resented it, raised a shout, and drawing together a crowd, one of 
the men threw an axe at Clearchus, and his example being 1 
followed, the rough and rigid disciplinarian escaped with much 
difficulty to his own quarters. Here, in the rage of the moment, 
forgetting the policy of the general, and not reflecting that, by 
indulging his fury, he might bring destruction on the whole force, 
he commanded his soldiers to arm themselves, and having drawn 
them up in order of battle, advanced with a small body of Thracian 
horse towards Menon's quarters. At this moment, Proxenus, the 
philosophical friend of Xenophon, interposed his good offices, and 
endeavoured in vain to reason with the fiery Spartan. At length, 
Cyrus also having heard of the quarrel, rode up in haste and 
alarm ; and representing to Clearchus the destruction that must 
inevitably follow the indulgence of his anger, brought him to 
himself. The whole army then resumed its march, and advanced 
towards the Median Wall, in the rear, as they could not doubt, of 
a large division of cavalry, which had everywhere left its traces 
on the face of the country, by burning and destroying everything- 
which might have been of service to the invaders. Treachery 
now began to shew itself among Cyrus's followers, and it became 
necessary to make an example of the first traitor, in order to strike 
terror into others. Orontas, a Persian nobleman of the highest 
rank, having been detected in the attempt to betray Cyrus to his 
brother, a court-martial was held upon him in the prince's tent, at 
which Clearchus was present. His g-uilt having been clearly 
proved, and even admitted by himself, he was delivered over to an 
officer of distinction, to be despatched secretly, and it was never 
known in what manner he died. He was, in all likelihood, 
strangled, and his body, with weights attached to it, thrown into 
the Euphrates. 

Continuing to advance for several days, intelligence was at 
length brought by deserters that the king with an immense army 
was approaching-. Cyrus, therefore, reviewed his own forces in a 
plain at midnight ; and having addressed to them words of 
promise and encouragement, appointed the order in which the;/ 
were to engage the king : giving to Clearchus the command of 
the right wing ; to Menon, that of the left ; while he himself, with 
his Persians, occupied the centre. On the break of day, instead 
of discovering the enemy, they observed everywhere unequivocal 
tokens of their retreat; but with what intention did not appear. 
However, it was known to Cyrus that Babylonia was then 
intersected by numerous broad canals cut from the Tigris to the 

7 



THE RETREAT OF THE TEN THOUSAND. 

Euphrates, and spanned by bridges which had now been all 
broken down. A trench, besides, had been carried from near the 
Euphrates to the Median Wall across the whole plain, to embarrass 
the movements of the cavalry. Nevertheless, a narrow pass had 
been left, originally, perhaps, with the design of being* defended ; 
but no force being- found there to dispute his passage, Cyrus 
entered within the trench, and experiencing- no interruption, 
approached rapidly the very heart of the empire. 

At first, the supposed proximity of dang-er produced a salutary 
effect, inducing- the invaders to keep constantly on their guard and 
ready for action ; but no enemy appearing- during- three whole days, 
the reins of discipline were relaxed, Cyrus himself riding forward 
unarmed in his chariot, while the soldiers either threw their 
weapons into wagons, or piled them up carelessly on the backs of 
sumpter-animals. History is full of the disasters which have 
befallen men through false confidence and relaxation of discipline ; 
but we are so seldom taught by the calamities of others, that 
similar follies will probably be repeated to the end of the world. 

It was now, observes the Greek historian, about the time of day 
when the market is usually crowded, the army being near the 
place where they proposed to encamp, when Patagyas, a Persian, 
one of those whom Cyrus most confided in, was seen riding 
towards them at full speed, his horse all in a sweat, and he calling 
to every one he met, both in his own language and in Greek, that 
the king was at hand with a vast army, marching in order of 
battle. This occasioned a general confusion among the Greeks, 
all expecting he would charge them before they had put them- 
selves in order ; but Cyrus, leaping from his car, buckled on his 
corselet, then mounting his horse, seized his javelins in his hand, 
ordered all the rest to arm, and every man to take his post : in 
obedience to which command they quickly formed themselves ; 
Clearchus on the right wing, close to the Euphrates ; next to him 
Proxenus ; and after him the rest. Menon and his men were 
posted upon the left of the Greek army. Of the barbarians, 1000 
Paphlagonian horse, with the Greek targeteers, stood next to 
Clearchus on the right. Upon the left, Ariseus, Cyrus's lieutenant- 
general, was placed with the rest of the barbarians. They had 
large corselets and cuisses, and all of them helmets ; but Cyrus, 
who placed himself in the centre with 000 horse, stood ready 
for the charge with his head unarmed — in which manner, they 
say, it was also customary for the rest of the Persians to expose 
themselves on a day of action. All the horses in Cyrus's army 
had both frontlets and breastplates, and the horsemen Greek 
swords. 

It was now the middle of the day, and no enemy was yet to be 
seen ; but in the afternoon there appeared a dust like a white 
cloud, which not long after spread itself like a darkness over the 
plain. When they drew nearer, the brazen armour flashed, and 
their spears and ranks appeared, having on their left a body of 

8 



THE RETREAT OF THE TEN THOUSAND. 

horse, armed in white corselets (said to be commanded by Tissa- 
phemes), and followed by those with Persian bucklers, besides 
having armed men with wooden shields reaching* down to their 
feet (said to be Egyptians), and other horse and archers; all 
which marched according to their respective countries, each nation 
being drawn up in a solid oblong- square; and before them were 
disposed, at a considerable distance from one another, chariots 
armed with scythes fixed aslant at the axle-trees, with others 
under the body of the chariot pointing downwards, that so the}' 
might cut asunder everything" they encountered. Into the details 
of the battle which followed it would be tedious to enter. The 
Greeks, under their own generals, remained near the Euphrates, 
opposed to the left wing- of the Persian army; while Cyrus, 
further out in the plain, sought that portion of the adverse ranks 
where he believed his brother to be stationed. He had with him 
600 picked horsemen, tog-ether with all those courtiers and officers 
wlio were most attached to his person. The king- was defended 
by (5000 cavalry, and had along- with him Ctesias, the Greek 
physician, who afterwards published an account of what took 
place. Animated less by ambition than by that fratricidal hatred 
which stained his noble character, Cyrus, as soon as he knew 
himself to be in the neighbourhood of his brother, laying- aside the 
prudence of the general, and losing- all self-command, charged 
furiously the 6000 horse, who for the most part dispersed and 
tied. In the melee, he caught a sight of Artaxerxes, and shouting 
aloud : ' I see the man ! ' rushed impetuously forward, and wounded 
his brother through the corselet, according to the testimony of the 
physician, who was present, and afterwards cured the Avound. At 
this moment, however, a javelin, cast from some unknown hand, 
pierced the prince a little below the eye, and passing through the 
brain, he fell back dead at his brother's feet. Here the strong- 
affection with which Cyrus had inspired his intimate friends was 
strikingly exhibited. Eight of them died upon his body, and 
Artapates, one of the noblest of his race, is said to have slain 
himself with his own scimitar on the remains of his beloved 
chief. Others say, that while he was embracing Cyrus's 
dead body, Artaxerxes ordered him to be cut to pieces. 

The Greeks, meanwhile, had utterly routed that part of the 
Persian forces which stood opposed to them, and pursuing them in 
order, soon found themselves completely victorious without the 
loss of a single man. Their manner of engaging the enemy 
appears to have inspired the greatest terror in the barbarians. 
They began by singing the Paan, or hymn to Athena, which, 
swelling- from 14,000 men at once, rolled like thunder over the 
plain ; and to add to the effect, they struck their spears violently 
against their brazen shields ; and in the midst of this terrific noise, 
extended their flashing weapons, and rushed against the enemy. 
Unused to such impetuosity and energy, the Persians immediately 
broke their ranks and fled, the charioteers alighting from their 

No. 21. 9 



THE HETREAT OE THE TEN THOUSAND. 

chariots to escape on foot, the horsemen riding" away at full speed, 
and the infantry following- in the greatest disorder. As yet the 
Greeks were ignorant of the death of Cyrus, and observing with 
what facility they overcame and dispersed the king's forces, 
believed that the prince in whose service they had fought might 
already be regarded as monarch of Persia. Meanwhile, his head 
and right hand having been cut off, were exposed to his Asiatic 
followers, who, under the command of Ariseus, retreated from the 
field, and encamped at a safe distance. The forces of Artaxerxes 
now broke into Cyrus's camp, which they pillaged. Of two Grecian 
ladies, who had accompanied the prince — one, a Phoccean, was 
taken prisoner, and became the mistress of Artaxerxes ; the other, 
a native of Miletus, by name Aspasia, fled to the Grecian camp, 
where she was received and protected by her countrymen. 

Since the time of the Elder Cyrus, the empire of the Medes and 
Persians had never been so near its dissolution. The slightest 
accident would at that moment have sufficed to overthrow it, or at 
least to transfer the crown from the reigning' line to any other. A 
few fierce and indomitable republicans, having broken loose from 
the social discipline of their own country, and hired their swords 
to an Oriental prince, had broken into the very sanctuary of 
dominion, and stood there in their proud courage, ready to confer 
the most brilliant sceptre of the East on any one who would have 
the hardihood to accept it. But no new rival to Artaxerxes offered 
himself ; and the Greeks, though victorious, soon began to expe- 
rience uneasiness for their own fate. No one was left to give them 
pay ; the country where they found themselves had been ravaged 
far and near by the enemy, and they were consequently at a loss 
to foresee how they should provide themselves with the necessaries 
of life. While they remained in this perplexity, messengers came 
from Artaxerxes, summoning them to lay down their arms, and 
submit themselves to the justice of the king, whose territories they 
had invaded, and whose throne they had attempted to overthrow. 
The policy of the court evidently was either to take the whole body 
of these foreigners into the king-'s pay, or to famish them where they 
were, or to separate them into small divisions, and. cut them on in 
detail. The Greeks had been taught by their education to be 
calm and collected in the midst of every danger. To the king's 
threats, they replied with contemptuous levity ; for on being- told 
that he required them to give up their arms, they replied : ' Let 
him come and take them.' Finding such to be the temper of their 
minds, the negotiators, among- whom was a celebrated Greek 
adventurer named Phalinus, mentioned the alternative sent by 
the king, which was, that there should be peace if they remained 
in their actual position, but if they advanced, war. To this the 
Spartan Clearchus, accustomed like the rest of his countrymen to 
treat danger and death with indifference, replied jocularly, that it 
should be" as the king said — namely, peace if they remained, and 
war if they advanced. Many conferences followed., all intended to 

10 



THE RETREAT OE TEE TEN THOUSAND. 

inveigle the Greeks into situations in which they might be cut off 
with safety. In the midst of armed myriads, however, their 

ttidity and discipline preserved them. Several thousand miles 
from home, in the heart of a hostile empire, with no cavalrv to 
protect their foraging- parties, hemmed in by broad and deep 
rivers, which they possessed no means of passing, ignorant of the 
geography of the country, and wholly Uncertain about what 
course it would be best for them to take, they relied calmly on 
their own valour, supported greatly, besides, by pious confidence in 
rods of their native land. 
On the other side, the Persian court dreaded their approach 
towards Babylon, respecting the situation and distance of which they 

red to keep them as much as possible in the dark. It was at 
length, after much negotiation, agreed that, instead of endeavouring 

icli Ionia by the way of Syria and Mount Taurus, the Greeks 
should cross the Tigris, traverse the plains and deserts of Media, 
and force their way, as they might best be able, through the 
mountainous regions constituting the northern boundary of the 

ian Empire, to the shores of the Black Sea. Artaxerxes had 
at that time in his service a satrap of incomparable villainy — able, 
astute, enterprising, and acquainted, besides, with the character and 
i oanners of the Greeks. This person, whom the classical reader will 
immediately recognise as Tissaphernes, undertook to conduct the 
Ten Thousand back to Greece ; pretending, what was true, that 
1hr\ might be of the greatest service to him in his government, 
by enabling him to subdue the rebel tribes and hostile satraps in 
his neighbourhood, and rendering him generally superior to all 
the dependent chiefs in the empire. As this view of their mutual 
relations was perfectly correct, the Grecian generals, though per- 
suaded of the treacherous and vicious character of Tissaphernes, 
readily placed themselves under his guidance, taking, however, some 
precautions to guard against his treachery. The Persian army 
was compelled, for example, to encamp at a certain distance from 
theirs, and it was agreed that whenever a market was not provided 
for them, they should quarter themselves upon the villages near 
which they passed, and help themselves. The greatest possible 
anxiety was felt to draw them out of Mesopotamia, where they 
were in the midst of rich and flourishing cities, which the slightest 
provocation might induce them to sack and set on tire. With 
much caution, therefore, and many fair promises, they were led to 
the Tigris, which, a little below the site of Bagdad, and above the 
source of the Diala, they traversed by means of a bridge of boats. 
The heart of Artaxerxes became lighter when intelligence was 
brought him, that the Ten Thousand had passed over into Media, and 
turned their faces towards the north. On the very first day's march 
after crossing the river, they passed over the site of the future city 
of the caliphs, the capital of Haroun el Raschid, celebrated in the 
Thmisand-and-one- Nights for innumerable adventures and strange 
vicissitudes of fortune. The Ten Thousand, true to the character 

n 



THE RETREAT OF THE TEN THOUSAND. 

■of their nation, were as full of romantic enthusiasm aa any who 
have since trodden that remarkable spot ; but they were marching:, 
they knew not whither, under the guidance of the greatest 
miscreant in the world : sometimes alarmed into caution, sometimes 
provoked, even to the very verge of hostilities, but .sometimes, 
also, completely thrown off their guard by his specious professions 
of friendship and solemn oaths of unalterable fidelity. Modern 
travellers have done little to throw light on the track now pursued 
by the Greeks on their way towards the mountains of Kurdistan. 
They crossed, we know, the greater and the lesser Zab, passed 
by several large cities — some flourishing, others in ruins, and 
skirted those plains on which, not long afterwards, the Macedonian 
phalanxes effected the final overthrow of the Persian monarchy. 

One little incident, which occurred during this part of the march, 
may be mentioned as an illustration of the spirit which animated 
the court of Artaxerxes. His mother, Parysatis, had a certain 
number of villages in Media assigned to her for her support, 
To these the Greeks were led, and commissioned to pillage, probably 
without being at all informed why this liberty was conceded to 
them. The object, however, was to afflict the queen-mother, by 
exposing her to receive this grievous injury from the friends of 
her favourite son. 

New stratagems, meanwhile, were perpetually put in practice to 
cut off the Greeks in their retreat. It may possibly excite surprise 
that, with so many troops at his command, the king did not sur- 
round them at once, and cut them to pieces, or trample them to death 
with his redoubtable cavalry. The reason why no such attempt 
was made, is to be found in the cowardice of the Persians, who 
looked upon being brought face to face with the Greeks as certain 
death. No extent of royal authority, therefore, would have sufficed 
to engage them in such an enterprise, and nothing but fraud and 
treachery remained. Again, some wonder may be felt that, under 
these circumstances, the policy was not adopted of hastening and 
facilitating their retreat as much as possible, in order to be delivered 
from them ; but the Persians knew that if the Ten Thousand 
returned in safety to their native country, the secret of their weak- 
ness would be disclosed, and probably lead to future expeditions 
utterly subversive of their predominance in Asia. The correctness 
of this view was afterwards demonstrated by Alexander of Mace- 
don, who, with a handful of hardy mountaineers, encouraged by 
the example of Xenophon and his companions, penetrated into the 
heart of Persia, overthrew the monarchy, and advanced without 
any serious opposition to the furthest shores of the Punjab. 
Into all the plans of Tissaphernes, history does not supply us with 
the means of entering; but he thought, it is to be presumed, that 
if he could succeed in cutting off the generals of the Ten Thousand, 
the men, deprived of their commanders, would fall an easy prey 
even to his dastardly troops. As numerous quarrels and misunder- 
standings had taken place, therefore, he invited Clearchus and the 

12 



THE RETREAT OF THE TEX THOUSAND. 

r leaders to repair to him, and hold a conference in his tent, for 
the purpose, as he said, of putting* an end to these dissensions, by 
settling upon some plan of proceedings equally for the interest of 
both armies. This proposal would appear to have awakened 
suspicion in many, but Clearchus, being above all treachery him- 
.-»■!('. was unwilling-, without good grounds, to attribute so atrocious 
a assign even to Tissaphernes ; besides, there existed in the 
Greek, and especially in the Spartan mind, a singular contempt 
of death, as if the life which succeeds to it, in the memory and 
gratitude of mankind, were far more to be coveted than that 
transitory existence, which philosophy taught them to consider 
merely as the avenue to a glorious immortality. With unpardon- 
able rashness, five of the principal leaders, accompanied by twenty 
inferior chiefs and a small escort, repaired, accordingly, to the 
camp of Tissaphernes, where, on being" introduced into his tent, 
the\ were immediately murdered, all but Menon the Thessalian, 
who was reserved to be exposed to the most horrid tortures, and 
finally put to death about a year afterwards. 

a truce existed between the Greeks and the Persians, numbers 
of the former had scattered themselves carelessly over the plain 
lying between the two camps, and, immediately on the slaughter 
of the generals, a body of Persian horse was sent forth to destroy 
as many of these Stragglers as possible. Some of the leaders who 
had accompanied Clearchus contrived to effect their escape, many 
of them dangerously wounded ; and the news of the massacre 
which they brought along with them threw the whole army into 
consternation. A large body of heavy armed men was sent out, 
however, to repel the attacks of the Persian horse, a service which 
they easily accomplished, and then returned to the camp to share, 
perhaps to augment, the general gloom. The commanders in 
whom the soldiers had most confidence had now been removed, and 
all hope of a further continuance of peace with the Persians had 
departed along with them. It would now be necessary to prepare 
for the most desperate conflicts, to rely for provisions on force, and 
to reckon on encountering none but enemies in whatever direction 
the}" might march. While the army was in this disposition of 
mind, night came on, and the soldiers, too depressed and disheart- 
ened to kindle fires, went to rest without food. They called to 
mind, says the historian, their parents, their wives, their children, 
whom they never expected to see again, and experienced that 
sickness and yearning of the heart which dejection and deep 
sorrow engender. 

It was now that Xenophon the Athenian came for the first time 
prominently forward. His writing's have since become known 
throughout the whole civilised world, and few names connected 
■with Grecian history are held in higher respect. But he was 
then a youth, without fame or influence, who had been led to join 
the expedition of Cyrus through his personal friendship for the 
Bcpotian Proxenus. He had previouslv studied philosophv under 

13 



THE RETREAT OF THE TEN THOUSAND. 

Socrates, and associated with Plato, and all the finest and noblest 
minds of Greece. It may readily be supposed, therefore, that in 
the perilous situation in which he now found himself, he did not 
lose his presence of mind. The incident to which lie attributes his 
determination 1o offer himself as leader to the Ten Thousand is 
highly characteristic. According- to the forms of faith and piety 
prevalent in his age and country, Xenophon was a religious 
man, anxious to perform all his duties towards Heaven, and to 
be possessed by the consciousness that the gods looked with 
approval on his conduct. He was regular, therefore, in sacrifice, 
in consulting- the entrails of victims, and in every other act con- 
nected with the religious system of Greece. On the present 
occasion, he was encouraged by a dream, and, rising in the middle 
of the night, he called together the remaining generals and 
commanders, and by the display of great eloquence and wisdom, 
reawakened their confidence in themselves, and incited them tc 
take measures for insuring 1 the common safety. ' Gentlemen,' 
he said, ' I can neither sleep, which I suppose is your case also, 
nor lie any longer, when I consider the condition to which we 
are reduced ; for it is plain the enemy would not have declared 
war against us, had they not first made the necessary prepara- 
tions : while, on our side, none takes any care how we may resist 
them in the best manner possible. If we are remiss, and fall 
under the power of the king, what have we to expect from him 
who cut off the head and hand of his own brother, even after he 
was dead, and fixed them upon a stake ? How, then, will he treat 
us who have no support, and have made war against him, with a 
design to reduce him from the condition of a king- to that of a 
subject, and, if it lay in our power, to put him to death 'I Will he 
not try the power of every extremity, to the end that, by torturing 
us in the most ignominious manner, he may deter all men from 
ever making war against him ? We ought, therefore, to do every- 
thing rather than fall into his hands. While the peace lasted, I 
own I never ceased to consider ourselves as extremely miserable ; 
and the king*, with those who belonged to him, equally happy. 
When 1 cast my eyes around, and beheld how spacious and beau- 
tiful a country they were masters of — how they abounded in pro- 
visions, slaves, cattle, gold, and rich apparel ; and, on the other 
hand, reflected on the situation of our men, who had no share of 
all these advantages, without paying for them, which I know few 
of them were any longer able to do, and that our oaths forbade us 
to provide ourselves by any other means ; when I reflected, I say, 
on these things, I was more afraid of peace than I now am of 
war. But since they have put an end to the peace, there seems 
to be an end also both of their insolence and our jealousy ; and 
these advantages lie now as a prize between us, to be given to the 
bravest. In this combat, the gods are the umpires, who will, with 
justice, declare in our favour, for our enemies have provoked 
them by perjurv ; while we, surrounded with everything to tempt 

14 



Tin: RETREAT OF THE TEX THOUSAND. 

with constancy abstained from all, that we might pre- 

• our oaths inviolate : so that, in my opinion, we have reason 
to engage in this combat with neater confidence than they, 
our bodies are more patient of cold, of heat, and of 
labour, than theirs ; and our minds, with the divine assistance, 
more resolved. And if, as before, the gods vouchsafe to grant us 
the victory, their men will be more obnoxious to wounds and 
death. But possibly others may also entertain these thoughts. 

J f raven's sake, then, let us not stay till those who do, come and 

encourage us to glorious actions, but let us take the initiative, and 

te them to virtue. Choose yourselves the bravest of all the 

captains, and the most worthy to command of all the generals. 

ir me, if you desire to lead the way in this, I will follow you 
with cheerfulness ; and if you appoint me to be your leader, I 
shall not excuse myself by reason of my years, but think myself 
of full age to repel an injury.' 

It is difficult for us to realise to ourselves the striking and pictu- 
resque circumstances of that night. Upwards of 10,000 soldiers 
from the West, deprived suddenly of their leaders, without a 

nry or a commissariat, in the heart of Persia, with large 
hostile armies around them, with a mountainous region in front, 
a desert behind, an impassable river on their left, and, to the right, 
regions then altogether unknown ; meeting under the cover of 
darkness, to consult respecting their next movement. Of their 
deliberations, we possess a detailed account : it may, however, be 
sufficient to say, that before morning they elected two generals- 
in-chief — Xenophon the Athenian, to command the rearguard, 
always the post of the greatest difficulty and honour in a retreat ; 
and Cheirisophus, a Lacedaemonian, to lead the van. 

Next day, they made preparations to resume their march, 
burned their tents and heavy baggage, and exchanged with each 
other their superfluities. The remainder of the plunder they had 
taken they set on tire, and then prepared to move northwards. 
A second attempt at treachery was now made by Mithridates, 
v ho, affecting to be an enemy of Tissaphernes, and to be desirous 
of coming over to them with all his people, sought to lead them 
into fresh snares. Very g'reat discouragement prevailed among the 
Greeks ; and during the following night, Nicharchus, an Arcadian, 
with about twenty men, deserted and went over to the enemy. 
This determined the generals to permit no further conferences, 
the object of which was to dishearten the soldiers, and induce 
them to abandon the hope of forcing back their way to Greece. 
The exact locality on which the massacre of the generals took 
place has not been ascertained: it was somewhere on the left or 
southern bank of the Greater Zab, which flows into the Tigris, 
at no great distance from the ancient city of Larissa. Under the 
guidance of their new generals, the Ten Thousand crossed this 
river, and advanced steadily towards Kurdistan, amid whose 
mountains they understood they should escape all annoyance from 

15 



THE RETREAT OF THE TEN THOUSAND. 

the Persian horse, whatever might he the obstructions thrown 
in their way by the inhabitants themselves. 

Meanwhile, they found it. impracticable to move forward without 
fighting-; and in the mode of warfare adopted by the enemy, the 
disadvantages were nearly all on the side of the Greeks, who 
possessed no cavalry to pursue their assailants, and whose archers, 
chiefly from Crete, made use of bows, the range of which WM 
scarcely half so great as that of the Persians. On one occasion, 
therefore, Xenophon having been betrayed by his ardour into a 
rash pursuit, exposed his followers to be wounded without the 
possibility of inflicting any injury in return. This led to the 
formation of a corps of slingers, composed of such Rhodians as 
were found in the army, who, employing leaden balls and stones 
of smaller dimensions than those used by the Persians, cast their 
missiles to a much greater distance, and were, consequently, far 
more formidable. A small body of horse, not exceeding fifty in 
number, was likewise organised under the command of one 
Lyeius, an Athenian. This improvement had no sooner been 
made than its value was tested, for, arriving at a deep valley 
which they had to cross in the face of the enemy, they were 
enabled, under the protection of their newly-created horse and 
slingers, to effect it without loss. Passing by the ruined cities of 
Larissa. and Mespila, they at length reached the low range of 
hills which constitutes what may be termed the outworks to the 
mountains of Kurdistan. Here the Persians, conscious they must 
relinquish their harassing system of pursuit, mustered sufficient 
courage to deal a parting blow. With their fleet horses and light 
troops, they occupied eminence after eminence, wounding the 
(J reeks from a distance, but flying invariably on the approach of 
the heavy-armed men. A single expression made use; of by 
Xenophon, may suffice to explain why the vast multitudes brought 
into the field by the Persians were never able to resist the charge 
of a small body of disciplined soldiers. The barbarians who, in 
this hill-fight, cast down stones and darts at the Ten Thousand, 
did so, he says, under the lash. Nor was this a solitary example 
of the practice. When Xerxes passed over with. his army into 
Europe, it would appear that numbers of the common soldiers 
required to be scourged into the enterprise, which will account 
for the rapidity with which they melted away before the free 
combatants of Greece- 

On arriving at the foot of the mountains, the Greek generals 
found themselves in great perplexity. It was beyond measure 
difficult to decide what course to pursue. From attempting to 
pass over into Mesopotamia, they were deterred by the depth of 
the Tigris, which could not in that place be fathomed by their 
longest spears, though a Rhodian, with the characteristic ingenuity 
of his nation, offered to construct a bridge for the army with 
inflated skins, fascines, and earth. The appearance of a large 
bodv of horse on the opposite bank frustrated this design, and it 

'16 



THE RETREAT OF THE TEN THOUSAND. 

became necessary to adopt some other course of proceeding*. The 
enemy's cavalry in large bodies was hovering" round to observe 
their movements, and, wherever practicable, to obstruct them; but 
fearing 1 the effects which might flow from their despair, they kept 
at ;i considerable distance. On this occasion, as much as on any 
during- the retreat, the worth of disciplined valour was made 
evident. With all the advantages of being" in their own country, 
with a perfect knowledge of localities, with abundant supplies, 
and a friendly population, the Persians felt like a herd of inferior 
animals in the vicinity of a troop of lions. Sometimes, on 
observing a retrograde movement among the Ten Thousand, they 
were seized with apprehensions lest they might abandon the design 
of returning- to Greece, retrace their steps, and carry tire and 
sword into Babylonia. Sometimes the fear was, lest they should 
settle down where they were, build a city, subjugate the neigh- 
bouring provinces, and effect, in this manner, the overthrow of 
the Persian monarchy. But the Greeks themselves contemplated 
no Buch magnificent schemes of dominion, but were exclusively 
solicitous to discover the means of returning in safety to their 
homes, to their parents, to their wives, to their children, to whom, 
in the quietude and security of the domestic hearth, they might 
again and again recount the dangers which they had boldly faced 
and overcome in the heart of Asia. 

While the soldiers, dispersed through the villages, were collecting 
provisions, the g-enerals had the prisoners brought before them, 
and made inquiries respecting* all the routes leading from the 
district in which they then found themselves. They were informed 
that there existed four : one to the south, leading- to Babylon and 
Media, by which they had marched; one to the east, leading to 
Susa and Ecbatana, where the king was said to pass the summer 
and the spring; another, to the west, over the Tigris, to Lydia 
and Ionia ; and a fourth, leading over the mountains to the north 
into the country of the Carduchi or Kurds. These were, at that 
period, a formidable nation, and have greatly extended themselves 
there, preserving, in their manners and their modes of life, all the 
characteristics which marked them in the days of Xenophon. 
After deliberating carefully on the subject, it was determined to 
attempt the passage through the mountains whose inhabitants 
maintained in their fastnesses a complete independence of Persia. 
To illustrate the difficulty and danger of this route, the generals 
were informed that the king-, having once sent an army of 120,000 
men to reduce the mountaineers to subjection, not only suffered 
defeat, but lost the entire force to a man. However, the Greeks 
judged it preferable to deal with these fierce barbarians, than to 
march constantly exposed to the harassing attacks of the Persian 
cavalry, which, though wholly unequal to a contest with the 
Greeks, might yet, by constantly inflicting small injuries, cause 
them very great detriment upon the whole. They learned, 
besides, that, after passing the mountains, they should emerge 

17 



THE RETREAT OF THE TEN THOUSAND. 

into the lofty plains of Armenia, which, though under the rule 
of a Persian satrap, they felt persuaded they could traverse with 
little difficulty. Without declaring*, therefore, in what direction 
they designed to advance, the generals ordered the army to be 
ready for marching" at the first signal ; after which, they retired to 
refresh themselves and take a little rest. In order, however, that 
the enemy might not be acquainted with their design of pene- 
trating" into the country of the Carduchians, and defeat it by 
possessing- themselves of the eminences, they resolved upon 
immediately attempting- the ascent. When, therefore, it was 
about the last watch, and so much of the night was left as to 
allow them to traverse the plain while it was yet dark, they broke 
up their camp, and marching- when the order was given, came to 
the mountain by break of day. Cheirisophus commanded the 
vanguard, with his own people and all the light-armed men ; and 
Xenophon brought up the rear with the heavy-armed, having 
none of the light, because there was no fear of the enemy's 
attacking their rear while they were marching up the mountain. 
Cheirisophus gained the top before he was perceived by the 
enemy ; then led forward ; and the rest of the army, as fast as 
they passed the summit, followed him into the villages that lay 
dispersed in the valleys and recesses of the mountains. 

The inhabitants having been come upon suddenly, took refuge 
in their fastnesses without being able to carry anything away 
with them, so that the Greeks found an abundance of provi- 
sions, with numerous utensils of brass. But though compelled 
to supply themselves with food, they rigidly abstained from 
plunder, in the hope of thus mitigating the hostility of the 
natives. Their policy, however, was without result, for the 
Kurds would not be conciliated, but, hanging on their rear, 
attacked them fiercely, killing and wounding many of their 
soldiers. The whole night was passed in mutual watchfulness 
and distrust. Here an incident occurred which seems to have 
caused the generals much pain. Having taken several prisoners 
during the late action, they selected two from among them to be 
their guides, and questioned them respecting the roads leading 
through their country. One of them sullenly refusing to afford 
any information, they put him to death, upon which, terrified by 
his fate, the other was rendered communicative, and offered to 
lead the army by a safe route to the borders of Armenia. What- 
ever road they might select, however, it was always necessary to 
render it passable by the sword ; for the Kurds fought with great 
gallantry and desperation, shedding their blood lavishly in defence 
of their hearths and homes, though, had they quietly stood aloof, 
the intrepid little army from the West, contented with the mere 
necessaries of life, would have passed through their country 
without inflicting any wanton injury on man or beast. 

Having learned from the guide that there lay in advance of 
them a height commanding the defile through which they must 

13 



THE RETREAT OF THE TEN THOUSAND. 

sarily pass, it was determined to tnke possession of it, as the 
march of' the army would otherwise be rendered impracticable. 
This sendee it was judged best to intrust to volunteers ; and as 
soon as the desire of the generals had been made known, several 
of those youthful leaders who had between them a contest of 
glory, cheerfully offered themselves. The day being now far 
advanced, the generals ordered the volunteers to refresh them- 
selves and set out, and delivered the guide to them bound. It was 
agreed, that if they made themselves masters of the summit, they 
should keep possession of it that night, and as soon as it was 
morning, announce their success by sound of trumpet. Those 
above should then charge such of the enemy as were posted in the 
that lay before them, while those below, with all possible 
celerity, marched up to their assistance. They now set forward, 
in number about 2000 ; and in spite of the heavy rain, Xenophon 
with the rear-guard manoeuvred so as to draw off the attention of 
the enemy from the movements of the volunteers. When he and 
his division came to a valley which they were to traverse, the 
Kurds rolled down vast boulders, many of them a ton in weight, 
which, being dashed to pieces in their fall, sent about such a 
shower of splinters, that it was found impossible to approach the 
road. This went on all night, as they were made aware by the 
constant dashing of the stones against the rocks.' Meanwhile, 
those who had marched round with the guide, surprised the enemy 
as they were watching round a fire, killed some, drove others 
down the rocks, and remained masters of the position, supposing 
they had taken the loftiest summit. In this, however, they were 
deceived, for another eminence still remained above them, 
approached by a narrow pass from the spot on which they now 
stood. Having occupied, this position till morning, they put 
themselves in order of battle, and marched noiselessly towards the 
enemy, through a thick mist, which enabled them to advance 
without being discovered, till they stood face to face with them on 
the height. The trumpet was now sounded; and the Greeks 
rushed towards the barbarians, who immediately fled in dismay, 
and with such expedition, that very few were slain. The main 
body under Cheirisophus, hearing the signal agreed upon, pushed 
up the pass which opened before them — many of the generals 
taking bypaths, each where he happened to be, and climbing as 
well as they could, drew up one another with their pikes. 

An intricate series of skirmishes now took place ; hill after hill was 
carried, the barbarians sometimes resisting, sometimes flying, now 
negotiating, and now breaking the truce. They at length arrived 
at certain villages, where they were quartered in good houses, and 
found a great supply of provisions, with wine in plastered 
cisterns. Here the bodies of those who had been slain were 
recovered from the enemy, and interred with all the honours due 
to brave men. In this way they traversed the whole of Kurdistan, 
until they arrived at the broad valley and river which separate 

1!) 



THE RETREAT OF THE TEX THOUSAND. 

this country from Armenia. It is remarked by the military 
historian, that in the seven days occupied among- the Kurdish 
mountains, they suffered more than from all the attempts of the 
Persian army, from the plains of Cunaxa, where the battle with 
Artaxerxes was fought, up to their entrance upon this wild rang*. 
They now encamped in numerous villages at a short distance from 
the mountains, where, considering- the worst of their toils at an end, 
they resolved to allow themselves a little leisure for repose. On 
the day on which they determined to cross the river Centrites, 
the troops of Persia again made their appearance — drawn up in 
order, horse and foot, on the opposite hank, ready to oppose their 
passage. They consisted of Armenians, Mygdonians, and Chal- 
dseans — the last a free and warlike people, armed with long- 
shields and spears. During an unsuocessful attempt to cross, the 
Greeks found the water came up to their breasts, and that the 
bed of the stream was rendered uneven by iarg-e slippery stones, 
so that it was impossible for them to stand to their arms ; and 
if they raised their shields above their heads, they were exposed 
to the missiles of the enemy. Retreat, therefore, became un- 
avoidable. The Kurds, who had followed in their rear, now 
appeared encamped in great numbers on the lower slopes of the 
hills ; while before them lay an almost impassable river, with large 
bodies of horse and foot lining its further banks. Great per- 
plexity and dejection fell, consequently, on the army, which, during 
a whole day and night, was so discouraged, that it attempted 
nothing. In these circumstances, Xenophon, as usual, had a 
cheering- dream, which he imparted to the other generals, who, 
upon offering sacrifices, found the victims favourable. They 
desired the soldiers, therefore, to take their breakfast, being deter- 
mined to force their way immediately into Armenia, at whatever 
cost. While they were still eating-, two young men came to 
Xenophon, who was always accessible, and informed him that 
while they were getting- brushwood for fuel, they saw among the 
rocks at the other side of the river, an old man and a woman with 
some maid-servants, hiding something that looked like bags full 
of clothes in a hollow. Seeing- this, they said they thought they 
might safely pass the river, because the spot was inaccessible to 
the enemy's horse. So they undressed themselves, and taking 
their naked daggers in their hands, proposed to swim over, but the 
stream being- fordable, they found themselves at the other side 
before the water came up to their middle. Then having taken 
the clothes, they returned. 

In consequence of this information, it was resolved that the 
passage of the river should be attempted in the following order : 
Cheirisophus was to lead the van, and cross with one-half of the 
army, while the other stayed with Xenophon, and the sumpter- 
horses, with the camp-followers, should pass in the middle. They 
at once began their inarch, guided by the two youths, and keeping 
the river on their left. A short distance brought them to the ford, 

20 



THE RETREAT OF THE TEN THOUSAND. 

several bodies of cavalry keeping- pace with them on the opposite 
shore. On reaching- the stream, Cheirisophus, with a garland 
upon his head, undressed, and, taking" his arms, commanded all 
the rest to follow his example. He then drew them up in 
columns — some on his left hand, some on his right. While these 
arrangements were making, the priests offered sacrifice, and 
poured the blood of the victims into the river, the enemy keeping 
up all the while a volley of arrows and stones, which all fell short 
of their aim. As the victims appeared favourable, all the men 
sung- the Peean and shouted, and all the women answered them — 
for there were many females with the army. 

The passage was immediately commenced ; while Xenophon, 
with a picked body of men, descended the stream, as if he would 
have crossed at the lower ford, and so cut off the enemy, who lay 
between him and Cheirisophus. Seeing 1 this movement, they all 
took to flight, never pausing- till they reached a mountain at 
some dist;i nee from the stream. By this time, Cheirisophus 
had passed, and attacked the enemy in front of him, routing 
them at the first onset, so that the bank of the river was entirely 
clear on that side. But now came the pinch of the whole affair, 
which was to enable the rear-guard to effect its passage, for 
the Kurds were advancing- rapidly at the heels of Xenophon's 
division, singing as they came on. Cheirisophus, now com- 
pletely free from danger, gave orders to the light-armed troops 
to return to the assistance of the rear, which Xenophon coun- 
termanded, directing- them, when they saw him begin to pass 
the river with his men, to come forward in the water on each 
side —the darters with their fingers on the loops of their darts, 
and the archers with their arrows on the string-, as if they 
designed to pass over ; but not to advance far into the water. At 
the same time, he ordered his own men, when they came near 
enough to the Kurds to reach them with their slings, and the 
heavy-armed soldiers struck their shields with their pikes, to sing- 
the Psean, and rush forward ; and when the enemy was put to 
flight, and a trumpet sounded from the river, to face about, so that 
the hindmost man of every file should lead the way. All were 
then to make what haste they could towards the river, which they 
were to pass in their ranks, that they might not hinder one 
another. But he told them, that he should look upon him as the 
bravest man who first reached the opposite side. Everything took 
place according to order ; and the passage of the Centrites having 
been effected in this way, the Ten Thousand found themselves in 
Armenia, and commenced without obstruction their march over 
the plain. 

Here the Persians reappeared with their cowardice and their 
policy. Teribazus, one of their generals, to prevent the plunder 
of the country, entered into a truce with the Greeks, by which it 
was agreed that they might take w r hat provisions they required, 
and should be permitted to advance without molestation, provided 

21 



THE RETREAT OF THE TEN THOUSAND. 

they refrained from burning- the towns and villages ; to which the 
strangers agreed readily, their only desire being to return without 
any further contests to Greece. They had now arrived in a 
country, the climate of which was very different from that which 
they had left beyond the mountains. Instead of the sultry sun 
and burning winds of Media and Mesopotamia, they had got 
among the snows and storms prevalent in the elevated table-lands of 
Asia. For this change they were ill prepared. The dress of the 
Greeks at no time fitted them to face cold weather, and now that 
they found themselves exposed to the rigours of an Armenian 
winter, they were seized with discouragement and apathy, and 
lay down disconsolately in the snow to perish. Alarmed by the 
growth of these feelings, and desirous of putting an end to their 
lethargy, Xenophon, throwing off his clothes, took an axe and 
began to cleave some wood for the purpose of kindling a fire. 
Seeing their youthful general cheerfully performing naked this 
humble drudgery, one of the soldiers took the axe from him, and 
did w r hat was necessary himself ; and the others, now excited by 
emulation, followed his example, so that many fires were soon 
kindled, and their provisions dressed. 

In the villages where they next encamped, they took a prisoner, 
who informed them that Teribazus, who marched a little in 
advance with a large army, among which were several savage 
bands of Chalybians and Taochians, intended to fall upon them, 
and cut them off in the defiles of the mountains. Upon this, it 
was determined to attack his camp, which without delay they 
did ; and, capturing his own tent, found in it the apparatus of 
Sybaritish luxury — beds with silver feet, drinking-cups, probably 
of gold, with a whole host of bakers and wine-bearers. They had 
now rounded the sources of the Tigris, and, marching through 
deep snow w T ith many guides, arrived at and passed that moun- 
tainous defile where Teribazus had intended to assail them. Soon 
after, they passed the Euphrates, the water of which reached to 
their middle, which sufficiently proves the incorrectness of what 
was told them of their being near its source. Here they suffered 
greatly from the inclemency of the weather. The -wind blowing 
fiercely from the north, seemed to parch and congeal the men ; 
upon which, having, at the instigation of a priest, sacrificed to 
Boreas, the sharpness of the blast sensibly abated. The snow was 
at least a fathom in depth, and the cold so intense that many 
slaves died, with about thirty soldiers, and numerous sumpter- 
animals. As wood was, however, plentiful at their place of 
encampment, they made pits in the snow, and in these kindled 
fires ; at which they who came first would not suffer the others to 
warm themselves, till they had shared with them a portion of their 
corn or other booty. 

A disease, on which the Greeks bestowed the name of Boulimia, 
now attacked numbers of the soldiers. It may be described as 
hunger, accompanied by extreme exhaustion, which would not 
22 



THE RETREAT OF THE TEN THOUSAND. 

suffer those who were assailed by it to rise, or make any exertion 
till they had been supplied with food, after which the stomach 
nsumed its tone, and the disease disappeared. Sufferings now 
crowded thickly upon the army. Many of the men had their toes 
rotted off by the frost ; others lost their sight ; while some, 
incapable of" motion, were left behind, and slaughtered by the 
enemy, who likewise took part of the bag-gage belonging to the 
rear-guard. During no part of the retreat did the courage and 
ancy of the Greeks undergo so severe a trial, having to 
combat not only with men, but with the elements, which, by under- 
minimr the vigour of the body, soon utterly subverted in many the 
strength of the mind. In one place, when the van-guard had reached 
■ad encamped in well-furnished villages, the rear, with Xenophon 
- head, found itself under the necessity of passing the night in 
the open air — the greater part of the men being numbed by the 
cold, while many refused % to make any exertions to preserve them- 
selves from falling into *the hands of the enemy. Xenophon, 
however, commanded the most energetic and able-bodied to march 
hither and thither during the whole night, striking their spears 
cist their brazen shields, to alarm the Persians, who, when this 
terrible sound reached their ears, plunged through the snow into 
the valley, and were heard of no more. 

Having passed the night in this way, the army resumed its 
march, and arrived at certain villages of very extraordinary 
character. The houses were under ground, the mouth resembling' 
that of a well, but spacious below. There was a sloping entrance 
dug for the cattle, but the inhabitants descended by ladders. In 
these houses the Greeks found goats, sheep, cows, and fowls, with 
their young, all maintained with fodder within this curious 
shelter. There were also stores of wheat, barley, and legumens, 
with beer in jars, in which the malt itself floated even with the 
brims of the vessels ; and with it reeds of various sizes, without 
joints. When any one was thirsty, he put one of these into his 
mouth, to suck the liquor through it. This beer was very strong 
in its pure state, and very pleasant to those who were accustomed 
to drink it. Tavernier, in the seventeenth century, found a similar 
subterranean village, at no great distance from the site of that 
described by Xenophon ; and, in fact, it appears to be a fashion 
common in Armenia thus to excavate habitations beneath the 
earth. 

The contrast between the present and the late condition of the 
army was now very striking. The comarch of Xenophon's village 
informed him where there was plenty of wine concealed, and 
undertook to guide the army out of Armenia. The next day, on 
proceeding to consult with Cheirisophus, Xenophon, accompanied 
by the comarch, passed through several villages where the soldiers 
were quartered. He found them everywhere feasting and rejoicing. 
They would all force him to sit down to dinner with them, and he 
everywhere found the tables covered with lamb, kid, pork, veal, 

23 



THE RETREAT OF THE TEN THOUSAND. 

and fowls, with plenty of bread, some made of wheat and some of 
barley. When any one desired to drink with his friend, he took 
him to a jar, where he was obliged to stoop, and sucking, drink 
like an ox. When Xenophon came 1o his fellow-general, he found 
his men also feasting, crowned with garlands of hay, and waited 
on by Armenian youths in barbarian costume. It was agreed 
among* the generals, that when they had remained where they 
were a sufficient time to refresh the army, they should put 
themselves under the guidance of the comarch till they passed 
the frontiers, after which he was to be sent back with presents 
to his family. Cheirisophus, however, with that harshness 
which would appear to have been inseparable from the Spartan 
character, growing angry with the guide for not conducting 
them to villages where none existed, struck the man, who, 
out of resentment, disappeared on the following night. For- 
tunately for the Greeks, his sons still remained, and having led 
them faithfully out of Armenia, continued still with the army 
until its arrival in Greece. They were yet travelling over the 
snow, though habit, and the hints they had received from the 
natives, would appear to have enabled them to do so with less 
inconvenience than formerly. For example, they learned from 
the comarch to tie bags on the feet of their horses, without which 
they sank up to their bellies. After several marches, they arrived 
on the banks of the Phasis, in that part about 100 feet in 
breadth, and having passed it, drew near a pass in the mountains, 
which was defended by the united forces of the Chalvbians, 
Taochians, and Phasians, fierce tribes of barbarians, inhabiting 
the high ranges in the neighbourhood. Here the Greeks behaved 
with their usual prudence and resolution. The generals, having 
met in council, discussed in a somewhat jocular and sprightly 
manner the plan of attack — the Athenians bantering the Spartans, 
and the Spartans returning the joke, but without losing sight for 
a moment of the great object in view. In accordance with the 
advice of Xenophon, it was determined to wait till night ; and 
as' several small ravines and gorges, lying right and left of the 
pass, had been left unguarded, to send small bodies of light-armed 
troops to take possession of some height in the enemy's rear, while 
Cheirisophus, with the remainder of the army, continued to 
advance through the direct route, as if he designed to carry every- 
thing by main force ; but when within little more than a mile of 
the enemy, he halted, and night immediately coming on, they 
beheld the mountains blazing on all sides with watch-fires. Mean- 
while, those who had been sent on that service made good their 
position on the heights; so that next morning, when the barbarians 
found themselves hemmed in on every side by the Greeks, after 
fighting for a short time, they dispersed ; and the Ten Thousand, 
traversing the range, descended into a plain studded with numerous 
villages, well stored with provisions. Their road lay next through 
a small province or district inhabited by the Taochians, where, 
id 



THE RETREAT OF THE TEN THOUSAND. 

provisions running" very short, it became necessary to storm a 
rocky eminence, surrounded on all sides but one with precipices, 
upon which the inhabitants had posted themselves with their 
Wives, children, and cattle. The ascent to this rock was extremely 
rough and steep, studded here and there with groups of pine-trees, 
with one open space about fifty feet wide, down which immense 
stones were rolled or showered the moment any one attempted to 
ascend. Animated, however, by hunger and the love of glory, 
several Greeks, creeping between the trees, gained the summit, 
upon which a fearful tragedy took place. The women, first 
throwing their children down the precipices, jumped after them, 
and the men followed, so that very few prisoners were taken. 
One Grecian officer, observing a barbarian, richly dressed, rushing" 
towards the edge of the cliff, seized him by his garments, and not 
letting go his hold in time, was dragged over along with him, and 
dashed to pieces. Having in this way obtained a supply of pro- 
visions, they advanced towards the country of the Chalybians, 
encountering everywhere from these wild people a far more deter- 
mined resistance than the disciplined troops of Persia had ever 
offered them. Nor was the prudence of the enemy inferior in this 
ease to their courage. Having conveyed all their property, 
together with their women and children, to inaccessible fastnesses, 
they fell upon the rear of the Greeks, and harassed them 
excessively. Like the rude islanders of the Indian Ocean, they 
cut off the heads of the persons they slew, and carried them away 
in triumph. No booty could be taken on these mountains, so 
that the army was compelled to subsist entirely on the cattle 
taken from the Taochians. Out of this roug"h and inhospitable 
country they emerg-ed by crossing- the river Harpasus, 400 feet 
in breadth, after which they found themselves in a more fertile 
region, with fewer obstacles, natural or artificial, to encounter. 
One of the chiefs of the neighbourhood, possessing- a superior 
degree of policy, determined to turn the arrival of the strangers 
to account. Having in his vicinity enemies whom apparently he 
could not himself subdue, he sent guides to the Ten Thousand, 
with instructions to lead them through the territories of those 
hostile tribes, that, by ravaging and devastating them, they might 
facilitate his ambitious or patriotic designs. These guides greatly 
elevated the courage and hopes of the army, by promising in five 
days to lead them to the summit of a mountain from whence they 
might discover the Black Sea. If they did not succeed in this 
undertaking, they were willing to be put to death. The hopes of 
the Ten Thousand were now greatly raised. They marched for- 
ward with redoubled alacrity ; all obstacles appeared to dwindle 
before them ; and at the time agreed upon, the first soldiers in the 
van-guard, upon arriving at the summit of a ridge, beheld with 
inexpressible joy the long-wished for sight. There, rolling and 
flashing in the sun, they saw the broad waves of the Euxine, 
along whose southern shores they knew were numerous Greek 

25 



THE RETREA.T OF THE TEN THOUSAND. 

colonies, with beautiful cities, ports, and harbours, and all the 
appliances of civilisation. In the exultation of the moment, they 
raised a loud shout, exclaiming- : ' The sea — the sea ! ' and the rest 
of the soldiers, hearing- the noise, but unable to conjecture what 
occasioned it, imagined they were attacked by the enemy, and 
rushed up hastily to their assistance. These again, in their turn, 
when they beheld the glad waters, took up the cry, and repeated : 
' The sea — the sea ! ' till the whole army stood upon the summit 
of the mountain, embracing- each other, and their g-enerals and 
officers, with tears of delig-ht and joy. In their own estimation, 
they had now accomplished their g-lorious retreat — they had van- 
quished the king- of Persia at the gates of his own capital, they 
had driven before them his innumerable forces, they had marched 
through his dominions in whatever direction they pleased, they 
had cut their way through the mountains of Kurdistan, they had 
traversed the snowy table-land of Armenia, they had advanced 
victoriously throug-h many unknown and hostile regions, and now 
at length stood, in armed independence, in sight of what they 
almost regarded as their native sea. With their giowing- and 
ardent imagination, they could look into futurity, and discover the 
dawn of that glory which was to gather in after-ages around their 
expedition, and render them an object of the deepest interest to 
all civilised nations. 

From this point the epic interest of the history may be said to 
diminish, though another interest, less animating indeed, but 
scarcely less instructive, springs up to replace it. While danger, 
and the constant presence of the enemy, acted upon the minds of 
the daring adventurers, they imparted to them unity and compact- 
ness, made them sensible that they were necessary to each other, 
quenched the tendency to dissension, and imparted something of 
a fraternal character to generals, officers, and men. Every one 
seemed exclusively solicitous for the common safety. Mean 
motives, grovelling selfishness, calculations of gross interest, were 
banished from the mind, and one mighty feeling, springing from 
the bosom of circumstances, reigned despotically over their under- 
standings and passions. In the hour of danger -and death, the 
soldiers thought of their homes, of their parents, of their wives and 
children, of their country, of that great and glorious Greece, of 
which they were the champions and defenders. There was no 
room in their hearts for little feelings or little fears. By a sort of 
moral Genesis, they rose to the level of the situation in which they 
w r ere placed ; and the influence of their nurture, of their institu- 
tions, of their religion, imparted heroic dimensions to their senti- 
ments and aspirations. But on emerging out of the circle of 
danger which had compressed them together, and made them one, 
they soon descended to the level of ordinary ideas and ordinary 
motives. Each man now began to think not only of how he 
should provide himself with the means of defraying his passage 
to Greece, through a civilised part of the world, where all 



TIIE RETREAT OF THE TEN THOUSAND. 

entertainment must be paid for, and freight and passage-money 
were objects of paramount consideration, but began also to reflect 
on the means of carrying- home something* to his family. Few, if 
any of them, had entered the service of Cyrus through mere 
poverty, though the expectation of enriching" themselves g-reatly had 
united, with their love of adventure and thirst of military glory, 
to allure them into the enterprise. But they had now lost every- 
thing" during" their retreat; their enthusiasm had been damped 
by exhaustion and low living-; and, therefore, laying- aside this 
Homeric frame of mind, they passed rapidly down a long- line of 
centuries, and found themselves actually in that iron ag-e which 
succeeded throug-hout all Greece to the calamities and sufferings 
of the Peloponnesian war. 

Though the army had, from a lofty eminence, beheld the sea, 
they knew that many hostile populations still lay between them 
and its welcome shores. Dismissing their guides, therefore, with 
rich presents, they descended once more towards the low countries, 
and entered the territories of the Macronians, whom they found 
drawn up in order of battle, upon the woody banks of a river, ready 
to dispute their passage. Here a very touching incident occurred. 
One of the targeteers coming to Xenophon, said, that though now 
a soldier, he had formerly been a slave at Athens ; and, if he was 
not mistaken, this was his oavii country, and the people on the 
opposite bank his countrymen and relatives. He desired, there- 
fore, leave to speak to them; and this being granted, he went 
over and conciliated the Macronians, so that they not only per- 
mitted the Ten Thousand to march unmolested through their land, 
but supplied them with a market, and behaved altogether in 
the most hospitable manner towards them. The man who did 
this service to the army, proud of having been elevated from 
barbarism to civilisation, would appear to have no thoughts of 
remaining in his original home ; but having acquired the 
honour of being accounted a Greek, preferred uniting his future 
fortunes to the sword, to leading a miserable life among unen- 
lightened savages. Passing into Colchis, the army experienced a 
peculiar disaster, which greatly perplexed the generals. Arriving 
at a number of villages abounding with bee-hives, the soldiers ate 
the honey, upon which they were seized with a disease, which, in 
some cases, exhibited symptoms like those occasioned by taking 
poison, while others appeared to be afflicted by madness, and 
others with intoxication. All these lay helpless on the ground, 
sick, dispirited, and unable to exert themselves, so that had the 
enemy come upon them while in that condition, the whole army 
might have been easily destroyed. The historian, however, 
observes, that none of them died, but in the course of twenty-four 
hours recovered their senses, though for three or four days they 
wore the appearance of persons recovering from a severe fit of 
illness. Pliny and Tournefort supply the explanation to this 
phenomenon, by observing, that the honey made in that country 

27 



THE RETREAT OF THE TEN THOUSAND. 

is collected from a species of rhododendron, the flowers of which 
communicate to it that poisonous quality which Xenophon speaks 
of; ;md it is well known to the natives at the present day. In two 
days more they arrived at Trebisond, a Greek city on the Black 
Sen, where they were received with friendship and hospitality by 
the inhabitants, who made them rich presents, and entered into a 
treaty with them for the purpose of protecting- the Colchians, who 
owned allegiance to the colony. Here, by way of expressing 
their feeling's of triumph, they celebrated gymnastic games, which 
afforded great pleasure to the spectators. They consisted of foot 
and horse races, together with all those contests and exercises 
which were common in the Pelestra of Athens. 

Now followed a series of troubles and difficulties which history 
details with reluctance. The principle of dissension had been 
introduced into the army of the Ten Thousand. The national 
jealousies and antipathies which appeared to exist indestructibly 
among the natives of the small states of Greece, and the conceit 
and ambition of individuals, assisted to agitate the minds and 
disturb the movements of the army. Cheirisophus, an honest 
man, without much ability, went away in search of galleys to 
transport a portion of the force by sea; several of the remain- 
ing commanders, particularly the Arcadians, desired to deprive 
Xenophon of his authority ; while he, with that prudence for which 
he was still more remarkable than for his genius — though he 
willingly encountered all the risk and calumny resulting from his 
anomalous situation, that his comrades in arms might be trans- 
ported or conducted in safety — declined taking the principal lead 
to their native land. The sustenance of so large a body of men 
in a friendly country was soon found to be impossible. It became 
necessary, therefore, to undertake marauding expeditions among 
the wild natives, which were frequently attended with great loss 
of life, and sometimes endangered the existence of the whole 
army. These conflicts, in fact, were more destructive than those 
which took place in the heart of Persia, or in those mountainous 
regions into which the Greeks penetrated after quitting the burning 
plains and deserts of Media. 

From the somewhat obscure details of the Anabasis in this part, 
from hints dropped in speeches, and from the accusations of his 
rivals, we may very fairly, we think, infer, that Xenophon had 
really at one time conceived the design of establishing a new state 
on the southern shores of the Black Sea. With his political know- 
ledge, with his mastery over the passions of men, and, above 
all, with his distinguished genius for war, he would probably have 
succeeded, had he been fortunate in the first step in reducing the 
whole northern division of Asia Minor, and thus organising a 
state much superior in extent to Greece itself. With such a base 
of operations, he might have proceeded with the development of 
his plans, so that the subversion of the Persian monarchy might 
have been effected by an Athenian citizen, instead of by the son of 

28 



THE RETREAT OF THE TEN THOUSAND. 

Philip. After the battle of Cunaxa, on the death of Cyrus, the 
generals of the Ten Thousand felt that, with some one whom they 
could offer to the Persians as their head, a revolution might have 
been easily effected in the empire ; but neither then nor afterwards 
were the body of the soldiers disposed to sacrifice their home- 
feelinga, and their partiality for free institutions, to the chances of 
boundless wealth thrown open to them by the conquest of so vast 
a country. The bare suspicion that Xenophon had entertained 
.such an idea, sufficed for awhile to render him unpopular in 
the army. On the arrival of the Greeks at Cotyora, being" now 
in comparative safety, they determined to celebrate games, after 
the immemorial custom of their native land. Ambassadors having- 
reached them from Corylas, governor of Paphlagonia, they gave 
these men a sumptuous entertainment, which they enjoyed, 
reclining on beds of brushwood covered with grass and leaves, 
drinking profusely out of horn-cups, which they found in the 
country. These libations being over, they sang the Paean ; after 
which two Thracians rose up, and danced with their arms to the 
sound of a flute. They capered very high and with great agility, 
then made use of their swords. At last, one of them struck the 
other in such a manner that every one thought he had killed him — 
but the stroke was given with artifice — upon which the Paphla- 
gonians cried out ; and the conqueror, having despoiled the 
vanquished of his arms, went out singing a song' of triumph in 
honour of Sitalces ; then other Thracians earned off the man, as 
if he had been dead, though indeed he was not hurt. After this, 
some JEnians and Magnesians rose up and danced in their arms 
what they call the Carpean dance, the manner of which was as 
follows : — One of them having laid down his weapons, sows, and 
drives a yoke of oxen, looking often behind him, as if he were 
afraid. Then a robber approaches, whom the other perceiving, he 
snatches up his arms, and advancing, fights with him in defence 
of his oxen — and all this these men performed in time to the 
flute. At last the robber binds the ploughman, and carries him 
off with the oxen. Sometimes the ploughman overcomes the 
robber ; and fastening- him to the oxen, ties his hands behind him, 
and so drives him away. 

After this, a Mysian entered with a buckler in each hand, and 
danced sometimes as if he had been engaged with two adversaries ; 
then used his bucklers as if engaged with only one. Sometimes 
he wheeled round, then threw himself head "foremost, and fell 
upon his feet without parting with the bucklers. This made a 
fine sight. Last of all, he performed the Persian dance, striking his 
bucklers one against the other, and in dancing fell upon his knees, 
then sprang up again, and in all this he kept time to the flute. 
He was succeeded by some Mantineans and other Arcadians, who, 
being dressed in the handsomest armour in their power, rose 
up and advanced in time to a flute that played a point of war. 
They sang the Pcean, and danced in the same manner that was 

29 



THE RETREAT OF THE TEN THOUSAND. 

practised in solemn processions. The Paphlagonians were amazed 
to see all these dances performed by men in arms. Upon the 
Mysian perceiving their astonishment, he prevailed upon one of 
the Arcadians, who had a woman-dancer, to let him bring her in, 
which he did accordingly, after he had dressed her in the hand- 
somest manner he was able, and given her a light buckler. She 
danced the Pyrrhic dance with much agility, upon which there 
was great clapping of hands, and the Paphlag-onians asked whether 
the women also charged with their troops. The others answered, 
that it was they who drove the king out of their camp. 

Circumstances, however, soon compelled them to emerge from 
this amusing dream : they were still far from Greece ; and without 
the aid of friendly cities to supply galleys, and furnish them with 
provisions, they would be compelled to enter once more upon a 
hostile country, and renew their contests and triumphs. A part 
of the army did actually return by sea ; but the remainder, 
marching along the northern coast of Asia Minor, had to engage 
in new perils and perplexities, by which its ranks were thinned 
daily, while jealousies and dissensions multiplied in proportion. 
Unfortunately for them, the rule of the Lacedaemonians extended 
at that time over all Greece and its colonies, which were con- 
strained to submit to the will of that haughty and domineering 
but impolitic people, who knew not how to conciliate, but inva- 
riably sought to establish their dominion by severity and oppres- 
sion. At Byzantium, a part of the army were seized and sold for 
slaves. The remainder, allured out of the city, had the gates 
closed upon them ; and thus, after subduing the power of Persia, 
and marching victoriously over a great portion of the Asiatic 
continent, these brave but unfortunate men found themselves 
treated as enemies in their own country. With spirits broken, 
and exhausted resources, they now sank to the level of mere 
mercenaries, and were willing to engage in the service of any 
prince or chief who would give them pay. At one time, they 
thought of passing over again into Asia, then of seizing some 
cities on the Hellespont or Propontis ; and, after much delibera- 
tion, agreed to take service under Seuthes, a Thracian prince, 
who hoped by their aid to recover possession of large territories 
once in the hands of his family, but now governed by rivals and 
usurpers. By these means, the army grew daily smaller and 
smaller, various officers and men leaving it in little parties and 
returning to Greece, while others were cut off by the sword. 
Xenophon, who had become attached to the fortunes of the army, 
beheld this result with much sorrow. He might easily have 
returned himself to Greece from Byzantium with considerable 
wealth and dazzling- reputation, but he chose rather to remain 
with his companions in arms, always, perhaps, hoping they would 
adopt his favourite idea of founding* a new city somewhere in the 
vicinity of the Black Sea. Whether he entertained this idea or 
not, he continued in the camp of Seuthes till the spring, when he 

' 30 



THE RETREAT OF THE TEN THOUSAND. 

departed and sailed for Greece, after which history loses sight of 
the Ten Thousand, then so called by a mere figure of speech, 
since wars, famine, and desertion had reduced them to nearly 
half that number. While, however, a man of them remained 
alive in Greece, to which such of them as had homes there would 
appear to have returned, singly or in small bands, the memorA^ of 
the expedition of Cyrus was kept alive among- the population. 
Contempt for the Persians, already common, was rendered uni- 
versal by their narratives. The feeling penetrated into Macedonia, 
and became a military tradition, which, acting upon the minds of 
leaders and soldiers, led ultimately to the expedition of Alexander 
against Darius, and the total subjugation of Western Asia. 

We ought not to dismiss the narrative of the expedition of 
Cyrus, and the retreat of the Grecian army after his death at 
Cunaxa, without paying a just tribute of praise to that distin- 
guished historian who has transmitted an account of these transac- 
tions to posterity. No work bequeathed to us by the Greeks is 
more interesting or romantic in its details than the Anabasis of 
Xenophon. Singular for its simplicity, it enters upon the subject 
at once, though probably the reader is supposed to have previously 
acquainted himself with the Cyropcedia. The institutions of 
Persia were familiar to the Greeks through the relations of nume- 
rous travellers, and the works of great historians and politicians. 
But even* at this time of day, when that knowledge is rarely 
possessed, notwithstanding our classical education, the Anabasis 
continues to be a favourite for the elegance and gracefulness of its 
style, for its rapid narrative, for its brief but graphic descriptions, 
and for that gallery of remarkable characters which it exhibits to 
the reader. Of the speeches it has preserved, we have been 
enabled to give but one specimen. The reader who is anxious to 
examine the whole, will find them all pervaded by sound good 
sense, and a thorough knowledge of the circumstances in which 
they were delivered. No attempts were made at what we call 
eloquence. The object is to persuade, and every idea and senti- 
ment which would militate against the speaker's design are 
carefully kept out of view. After the narrative conducts us to 
the wild tribes in the north of Persia, Xenophon exhibits the 
greatest acuteness of observation. He describes each separate 
tribe with great accuracy, and makes each stand out from the 
others by seizing on its prominent features, and presenting them 
vividly to the eye. During the latter books, the interest appears 
sometimes to flag ; and the army is abruptly abandoned at last, 
without our being clearly informed how it melted into the general 
population of Greece, and lost the integrity of its organisation. 
The historian seems to have been smitten with melancholy, and to 
have relinquished this part of his task through sentiments of grief. 
His own mighty project he had not been able to carry to maturity. 
The Ten Thousand, on emerging from Asia, lost all unity of 
purpose ; and the relater of their exploits, therefore, felt reluctant 

31 



THE RETREAT OF THE TEN THOUSAND. 

to follow each separate section into which they divided. Still, 
the Anabasis will always be thought the finest specimen of military 
history belonging- to ancient literature. 

Numerous attempts have been made to illustrate the track fol- 
lowed by the Ten Thousand in their retreat. The industrious Major 
Rennell has composed a complete work on the subject ; Major 
Kinneir, in his dissertation on the map of Persia, has contributed 
a considerable amount of information, to which Dr Ainsworth 
has made some additions. Long- before these, Tavernier, Thevenot, 
and Tournefort had incidentally lent some assistance towards 
understanding- the geography of the countries traversed by the 
Ten Thousand. But we are not yet sufficiently acquainted with 
the whole route, to be able to follow Xenophon's narrative with 
complete satisfaction. The time employed in the expedition and 
the retreat was one year and three months ; the marching-days, 
215; and the distance traversed, 1155 Persian leagues, and of 
34,650 stadia, or about 3500 Eng-lish miles. 



rO~r 








CHAMBERS'S 

REPOSITORY. 




N 1650, the colony of the Cape of Good 
Hope, at the south-west extremity of 
Africa, was founded by the Dutch go- 
vernment, who located there 100 men, _ 
• and as many women, selected from the House 
of Industry at Amsterdam. Cape Town, in 
I Table Bay, was built upon land purchased for a few 
glittering" trifles from the aboriginal Hottentots ; large 
adjacent tracts of territory were subsequently acquired 
in a like manner, and the nucleus of a flourishing' 
settlement was definitively constituted. The revocation 
No. 33. 1 




THE WAR IN CAFFRAItlA. 

of the Edict of Nantes gTeatly helped its prosperity, by inducing* 
a large number of intelligent and industrious individuals to 
emigrate, and permanently establish themselves in the new 
African colony, where, amongst other agricultural novelties and 
improvements, they introduced successfully, in accordance with an 
apparently inevitable law of progression, the cultivation of the 
vine. The ordinary result of the collision of the white with the 
coloured race speedily followed : the Hottentot was driven inland, 
or reduced to bondage ; and the limits of the settlement were gra- 
dually extended — in this instance, northward and eastward only — 
the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans clipping in the colony on 
the west and south. On the north frontier, but slight difficulty 
was experienced ; and the Orange or Gariep River, which, after 
traversing two-thirds of this part of Africa, debouches in the South 
Atlantic at about 27 degrees of south latitude, became the admitted 
boundary in that quarter, after a trifling opposition from the scat- 
tered Bosjesmans, Koranses, and other Hottentot tribes, who 
withdrew to the companionship of their congeners beyond it. The 
extension of the eastern frontier was not so easily effected. Long 
before the establishment of the Dutch colony, other races of 
invaders had begun to move in search of fresh and abundant 
pastures for their numerous herds from the north-east shores of 
Africa in a south-westerly course, leading directly towards the new 
European settlement. These nomadic tribes were, mainly, of two 
nations — the Caffres and the Zoolahs. By far the more numerous 
of these, and the earlier on their march, from at least as far north- 
ward as the Zambega River, were the Caffres— a people differing 
essentially from the Hottentot and negro races. Some writers affirm 
them to be of Arab origin ; and one ingenious theory suggests, they 
may be the lineal descendants of the Arabs who refused to conform 
to the Mohammedan dispensation; who, by skirting round the 
southern shore of the Isthmus of Suez, and progressing gradually 
southward, had at length, after a march of some twelve centu- 
ries' duration, reached their present very trouble.-ome grazing- 
grounds. The word Caffre is certainly Arabic, signifying infidel : 
then the Caffre nose is arched ; his hair, though curly, is not so 
woolly as that of the Hottentot and negro ; his colour is not nearly 
so black as the latter race ; and the ladies of Caffraria are 
undeniably the comeliest of the dark female denizens of Africa. 
The habits and instincts of the Caffres, moreover, resemble those 
of the Bedouin Arab in several respects : they build their huts in 
the shape of tents ; are fierce and wily guerilla soldiers, and 
withal dexterous and unscrupulous cattle-stealers — c a nation of 
irreclaimable thieves,' in fact, to borrow an exultant expression, 
used not long since by their celebrated chieftain Sandilli — for theft, 
on the one indispensable condition of success, is held in as honour- 
able estimation amongst Caffres as it is said to have been in 
classical and heroic Sparta. The conquering march of this, 
possiblv, semi-Arab people — the more modern portion of it at all 
2 



THE WAR IK CAFFRARIA. 

events — has been a murderous and desolating- one, the feeble 
populations that lay in their route towards the South Atlantic 
having been exterminated, absorbed, or reduced to slavery. As 
they neared the goal, the Great Kei, the Buffalo, the Keiskamma, 
the Great Fish Rivers, were successively passed, and the countries 
watered by them and their numerous tributaries and offshoots, 
thinly occupied by themselves and their countless herds of cattle. 
The Great Fish River, which, like the others, reaches the ocean 
on the south coast of Africa, proved to be the limit of their con- 
quests ; for on advancing- beyond it, they encountered (1702) the 
white man, who had already pushed his eastern frontier to the 
Sunday River, which falls into Algoa Bay, and were driven back 
over the Great Fish River, which, till a few years since, continued 
to be the boundary, eastward, of the Cape Colony. The Zoolahs 
— a name derived from one of their early kings — moved westward 
from about one or two degrees north of the Tropic of Capricorn, 
on the east coast of Africa, nearly opposite Madagascar ; their 
terrible incursion concluding in the country about Natal. They 
could muster 80,000 warriors, and were led by one of the most 
sanguinary and remorseless ruffians — Chaka by name — that even 
the annals of African regality reveal for the abhorrence of man- 
kind. One rather numerous nation, located in this wretch's line 
of march, fled with their flocks and herds to the protection of the 
Caffres settled eastward of the Kei. Their prayer was granted 
upon the simple condition — that they forthwith became the slaves 
of their protectors ! These are the people called Fingoes — the 
( 'a tire name for slaves — whom we so frequently read of in reports 
from the Cape. 

Such were the neighbours and actual or proximate adversaries 
of the Dutch settlers when, in 1795, Holland being then little 
better than a French province, Cape Town, after a slight resist- 
ance by the burgher militia and Hottentots, was captured by a 
British force. Ihe colony remained in the possession of Great 
Britain till the peace of Amiens, when it was restored to its old 
masters. On the revival of the war with France, and her unwilling 
satellite Holland, an expedition landed at the Cape (1806) under 
Sir David Baird, drove the Dutch troops into the interior, and 
after some sharp fighting there, compelled the governor to cede 
the entire colony to Great Britain, under whose sovereignty it has 
since remained. By this conquest, England acquired a corner of 
South Africa, partially peopled by about 30,000 hostile Dutch 
settlers, and about the same number of Hottentots and purchased 
negroes — the serfs and slaves of those settlers — and the privilege 
of defending the eastern frontier against the Caffre and Zoolah 
races, the quarrel with whom had been already well initiated by 
the Dutch boers' (farmers) forcible expulsion of the Caffres from 
the territory west of the Great Fish River. When the annexation 
took place, the principal tribes of Caffraria were classed and divided 
as follows : — The most advanced who had encountered the Dutch 



THE WAR IK CAFFRARTA. 

nt the Sunday River, were the Amakosas, and these again mainly 
formed two divisions : the Gaika tribes — so called by the English 
after the name of their principal chief, the father of Sandilli — and 
the T'Slambie tribes, so designated for a like reason. The Gaikas 
chiefly inhabited the Amatola Mountains, and the country about 
the Kat, the northern branch of the Great Fish Hirer, and the 
fastnesses of the Upper Keiskamma ; the T'Slambie tribes dwelt 
nearer the sea, some of them, of whom Pato is now chief, beyond 
the Buffalo. North-eastward of them all were the Tambookies — 
governed by the celebrated chief Hintza, and since by his son 
Kreili — whose territory was bounded westward by the Great Kei. 
According- to a dispatch of Sir Harry Smith's, dated 2d February 
1852, the trans-Keian chieftains exercise a paramount authority — 
influence would, we fancy, be a more appropriate word — over all 
cis-Keian chiefs, Sandilli himself, the lord of the Gaikas, not 
excepted. There are other minor divisions, and many subordinate 
chieftains, whose names have acquired notoriety in Caffrarian war 
— Makanna, Stock, Umkala, Macomo, Tyali, Seyolo, and others. 
T'Slambie's widow, Nonnube, who possesses considerable influence 
with her tribe, is the grand-daughter of Miss Campbell, one of 
the three unfortunate dang'] iters of General Campbell, who were 
wrecked in the Grosvenor, East Indiaman, on the east coast of 
Africa, during- the last century, and compelled, all three of them, to 
become the wives of Caffres. The country in which these people 
dwell, is for the most part admirably adapted for a harassing- 
guerilla warfare. The Amatola Mountains, one of its chief fast- 
nesses, which stretch eastward from the frontier of the colony, in 
a directly parallel direction with the coast, are intersected with 
deep, narrow, gloomy kloofs, or ravines ; the steep hills are 
capped with huge masses of sandstone, resembling- and answering- 
the purpose of vast battlements; and both mountains and ravines 
are covered with the peruliar bush of Africa, more difficult to 
destroy or penetrate than the densest thickets of the tropics. The 
vegetation is so succulent, that lire, even in the hottest season, has 
no effect upon it ; and, except by paths made by wild beasts, it 
is impassable by Europeans, albeit Caffres and Hottentots creep 
through with snake-like ease and agility. The banks of the 
rivers — of the Great Fish River especially — are covered with this 
impenetrable, incombustible bush, to which the Caffre invariably 
betakes himself when hard pressed, and thence, unseen or unap- 
proachable, shoots down his pursuer. The weapons of the Caffres 
were formerly a bow and arrows ; assaqais, or iron-headed spears, 
about four feet long-, which they hurled at an adversary with con- 
siderable force and dexterity ; and a hccrie, or knobbed club : now, 
they are plentifully supplied with firearms and other munitions of 
war of the best British manufacture. As a more than usually 
ludicrous instance of the fancies sometimes indulged in by enthu- 
siastic travellers, Le Vaillanfs estimate of Caffre and Hottentot 
character ma}- be worth quotation. i The Caffre/ writes Le 



THE WAR IN CAFFRARZA. 

Vaillant, ' always seeks his enemy face to face; lie cannot launch 
his assagai, except when he is himself openly in view. The 
Hottentot, on the contrary, hidden beneath a rock, or behind a 
bush, sends death without exposing himself to receive it. The 
one is the perfidious tiger, who leaps treacherously upon his prey; 
flic cilicr is the generous lion, who announces, shews himself, 
attacks, and pays the penalty if not successful.' By this it will 
lie seen, that painting Cafires in fancy and inviting- colours, is 
not so modern an art as might have been supposed, although it 
may be that later limners have displayed more imagination and- 
ingenuity than M. le Vaillant. 

Thus much for the physical and moral aspect of South Africa, 
at the time of Sir David Baird's onerous acquisition ; yet spite of 
the manifest difficulty and hazard of the position rashly assumed 
by the British authorities, there can be no doubt that if the system 
of tactics adopted by the Dutch colonists had been persisted in, 
we should have heard very little of Caffre wars, how frequently 
r Caffre massacres might and Mould have taken place. The 
Cafires never made the slightest head against the boers, whose 
mode of dealing with them was a very simple and effective one, 
The frontier war was carried on by commandos; that is, when 
cattle were stolen, a sufficient number of the nearest boers mounted 
their horses, and, armed with their long guns, made a foray, 
under tin; direction of a leader of resolution and experience, into 
the nearest and most accessible part of the enemy's territory, shot 
all the Cafires they encountered, as they would so many four- 
footed animals of prey, and captured as many head of cattle — no 
matter to whom belonging — as would replace the number stolen, 
and a goodly quantity besides, quite sufficient to defray the trouble 
and risk of enforcing compensation. Whatever may be thought 
of the justice or humanity of this commando system, there cam 
be no question that it was thoroughly effective and successful, 
and that a mortal dread of the whites was taking possession of 
the ('afire mind, till the gradual but thorough change of policy 
and tactics adopted by the British government revived their 
courage, and stimulated their audacity. Immediately on the 
attention of the House of Commons being called to the subject, 
it was determined that a system of levying private war at 
anybody's caprice or discretion, and remorselessly slaying such 
of the Caftre race as happened to be nearest at hand, whether 
innocent or guilty of the alleged offence, should not be per- 
mitted, however effective for its purpose it might be. ' The 
colonists,' said Lord John Russell in the debate in the House of 
Commons, Gth April 1852 — 'the colonists were not permitted 
to defend themselves by committing- injustice against the savage 

tribes, and destroying them when they were innocent 

Questions were asked with regard to the treatment of the savages, 
and the House declared that, while on the one hand they would 
not allow the colonists to be murdered, so, on the other, they 



THE WAR IN CAFFRARIA. 

would not allow injustice to be done to the aborigines ; and that, 
at the same time, they would take care that the savages did not 
go to war with and murder one another.' No one can deny 
the humanity, the almost romantic generosity, of this resolu- 
tion of the Commons ; but it certainly appears extraordinary, that 
the inauguration of the new policy, which aimed nt keeping- the 
peace with a high hand, not only between the Dutch colonists 
and numerous tribes of warlike savages (who, by the way, are no 
more the aborigines of South Africa than the boers or English 
are), but amongst the savag-es themselves, should not have been 
accompanied by such an aug-mentation of the British force in the 
colony as would render it equal to the lofty mission imposed upon it. 
The very reverse course was, in fact, pursued ; and, pari passu with 
the restriction of the commando system, and its formal abolition 
in 1833, the Eng-lish regiments were withdrawn from the Cape; 
so that when the first serious Caffre war broke out in 1834, Sir 
B. d' Urban had only 400 infantry and 200 mounted Hottentots to 
defend a frontier 1 00 miles in length ; and the colony was rescued 
from the most imminent peril by the mere chance touching at the 
Cape of the 72d Regiment, on its way to India ! 

Nothing-, however, occurred for some years to excite any very 
serious alarm for the safety of the colony under the new regime ; 
and early in 1820, an eastern settlement, hundreds of miles from 
Cape Town, though westward of the admitted Fish River boundary 
— between that and Bushman's River, in fact — was founded with 
the help of a g-overnment grant of L. 50,000 ; several thousand Scotch 
and English settlers were located in the Albany District, as it was 
named ; the town of Bathurst, in Lower Albany, was founded ; and 
Port Elizabeth, on the adjacent coast, was commenced. Previous 
to this, in 1817, Colonel Graham had founded Graham's Town, 
about twenty-five miles inland, and in the Bame vicinity. Two 
years subsequently — that is, in 1819, and but a few months prior 
to the planting* or this new Albany settlement — a Caffre outbreak 
had devastated this very locality, and narrowly missed effecting 
the destruction of Graham's Town. This inroad, which it was 
thought the peopling of the Albany District with a large body of 
British settlers would prevent a repetition of, owed its origin to the 
following circumstances: — In 1817, Lord Charles Somerset, then 
governor at the Cape, had made a treaty with Gaika, negotiating 
with him alone — from inadvertence, probably — to the great mortifi- 
cation of other cis-Keian chiefs, who, although they acknowledged 
a superiority in Gaika, were not content to be so unceremoniously 
overlooked, or to be bound by Gaika's engagements. Ill-blood 
fermented in consequence between the Caffre tribes; and T'Slambie, 
Gaika's uncle, aided by Makanna, attacked Gaika, and defeated 
him at the Debe Flats, on the Upper Keiskamma. The British 
governor thought it necessary to interpose on behalf of his ally; and 
Colonel Brereton enforced the restitution of 23,000 head of cattle 
— the aim and end of almost all Caffre contests — of which he had 



THE WAR IN CAFFRARIA. 

been forcibly despoiled. Of course, this high-handed interference 
of Lord Charles Somerset greatly exasperated Makanna and Ms 
confederates ; and their smouldering' rage kindled into flame at the 
sight of Graham's Town, a new and menacing settlement, erected 
at the very threshold, as it were, of CafTreland. A superstition, 
originating with the wizards, who possess unbounded authority and 
influence over the Caffres, had long been prevalent amongst them: 
* That when the Children of the Foam [the English] should make 
the resting-place of their sea-wagons at the mouth of the Buffalo, 
CafTreland would die ; ' and to Makanna's distempered mind, this 
planting of Graham's Town seemed to foreshadow visibly the 
dreaded consummation. By the aid of one or two friendly wizards, 
he got up a counter prophecy, investing- himself with the divine 
on of driving the Children of the Foam into their native 
element. He set about it resolutely too ; burst at the head of 5000 
or 0000 Caffres into the colony ; and after murdering*, plundering, 
and firing everybody and everything that came in his way in the 
open country, as far as Algoa Bay, attacked Graham's Town in 
great force. The Dutch sobriquet for Makanna was ' The Lynx,' 
and Lynx Kop Station was the spot from which the furious Caffre 
chief directed the assault upon the town. It was saved by the 
unflinching hardihood of the military, under the command of 
Colonel Willshire, and of the armed citizens, by whom he was 
zealously supported. Upwards of 500 Caffres were slain in this 
desperate attack ; and Makanna himself was soon afterwards 
captured, tried by court-martial, and sentenced to conclude his 
divine mission at the penal settlement of Robben Island, in Table 
Bay — a judg*ment which is to this day strongly inveighed against 
by certain writers, as setting- at nought the indefeasible regal right 
of an independent Caffre chieftain to declare and levy war upon 
whomsoever and whensoever he pleases, without incurring any 
other penalty in the event of failure, than being compelled to 
subscribe a more or less disadvantageous treaty of peace. 

The vigorous repression of this outbreak was followed by com- 
parative peace for about fifteen years ; during which period of 
treacherous calm, however, the seeds of future troubles were sown 
broadcast upon a genial and tenacious soil. About 1830, Gaika 
exhibited unmistakable symptoms of premature and rapid decay. 
The fire-water of the whites was swiftly drying up his springs of 
life ; and it was evident that, before long*, the lord-paramountship 
of the Gaika tribes would devolve upon Sandilli, his son by his chief 
wife Sutu, and consequently, according to Caffrarian usage, his 
true heir, although he had two other sons much older — Maconio 
and Tyali — by other but inferior wives. Sandilli at this time 
(1830) was only in his twelfth year, and, moreover, a weak, 
deformed lad, his right foot and ankle being completely withered. 
Macomo and Tyali had been residing by the Kat River with one 
of the chief Gaika tribes, on land forming part of the ceded or 
neutral territory, where it had been agreed that neither Caffre 



THE WAR IN CAFFRAHIA. 

nor colonist should be located. Macomo mid his brother 
remained there, upon .sufferance, till 18:29, when they were 
ordered to remove eastward, to make room for a colony of 
Hottentots, whom, for reasons to be presently stated, the British 
government had determined to settle there. The Gaika brothers 
sullenly removed to the neighbourhood of the Chummie, a tribu- 
tary of the Keiskamma ; but the old complaints of cattle-stealing- 
continuing, they were directed, in 1833, to retire beyond the 
Chummie. They did so with rage and hate festering- at their hearts ; 
and the death of Gaika the following- year, placed at Macomo's 
disposal the means of giving- vengeful scope to his roused passions. 
By the death of his father, Sandilli became as of course the lord- 
paramount, the ' Inkoso Eukuli'" of the cis-Keian Caffres; but 
wanting- yet several years of his majority, his half-brothers, 
Macomo and Tyali, became the de facto chiefs of the Gaika tribes, 
the principal authority resting- with Macomo, the elder of the 
two. From this time, an aggressive movement against the colonists 
Mas quietly determined upon; and very soon increased audacity in 
cattle-stealing-, the deliberate murder of Purcell, a peaceful trader, 
when the conspiracy had extended to the trans-Keian tribes under 
Hintza and his relative Boctoo, plainly intimated that the 
meditated blow would not be long withheld. 

The hostile demonstrations of the Caffres would have been 
without importance in a military point of view, but for certain. 
measures of the British government, which, prompted as they 
unquestionably were by considerations of both humanity and 
justice, had, nevertheless, the effect of materially weakening- the 
defence of the colony at the crisis of its greatest peril. 

The first of these measures, conceived in the spirit which Lord 
John llussell truly said had always animated the councils of Great 
Britain when legislating for the Cape Colony, was the emancipa- 
tion of the Hottentots from the degrading* serfdom to which they 
had been reduced by their Dutch masters. By the 50th Ordinance 
of the Amended Charter of Justice, issued by Governor Sir Richard 
Bourke, with the sanction of Mr Huskisson, the Hottentot was 
made equal before the law with the white man, to the infinite 
amazement and disgust of the boers, whose rooted conviction, it 
seems to have been, that if one of the dark-skinned race refused 
to work for the benefit of his pale-faced superior, the only and 
proper remedy was to flog him till he did : and that failing, knock 
him on the head as so much worthless carrion. There is little 
doubt, moreover, that the indolent, vagabond, pilfering- habits and 
propensities of the aboriginals of South Africa, occasioned the Gape 
farmers much loss and annoyance. Then a black chattel, as he 
used to be deemed, would perhaps be so impertinent as to summon 
his master or mistress before a magistrate, to answer for some real 
or supposed offence against his person, dignity, or rights — an 
intolerable grievance to a white African farmer, as a Dutch agri- 
cultural colonist usually styles himself, and awakening in his mind 

3 



THE WAR IN CAFFRARIA. 

the first glimmerings of a desire to trek away from the colony 
lie had helped to plant, to the far wilderness, swarming- though 
it might he with savages : he would know how to deal with 
them when once beyond British supremacy and control ! No 
immediate result followed these bitter musings ; and the plan 
devised by the British authorities for raising" the down-trodden 
Hottentot in the scale of humanity, was pursued with vigour and 
apparent success. Macomo and his Caffires, as we have previously 
stated, were ordered away from the Kat River, and a numerous 
settlement of free Hottentots was planted in the vacated territory. 
A considerable number of the same race were enrolled, disciplined, 
and armed under the designation of Cape Mounted Rifles; and 
being officered by Englishmen, would, it was thought, do good 
Btrvice against the CafFres, especially in bush-fighting, should 
e restless savages again disturb the peace of the colony — an 
expectation which, for a time at least, was amply fulfilled. 

The work of innovation went bravely on. Commandos were 
at length formally prohibited under severe penalties — a regulation 
hastened probably by the death of Seko, one of Gaika's relatives, 
who had been slain in one of those reckless forays of reprisal. It 
is quite possible, however, that these comparatively minor causes 
of discontent might have been borne with by the Dutch farmer, 
had it not been for the monster grievance of the Slave Emancipa- 
tion Act. The cup of bitterness now ran over, and all moral bonds 
between him and the English government were at once dissolved, 
and for ever. He was no longer permitted to do as he pleased 
with his own purchased negroes — with slaves bought and paid for 
with his own honest moneys ! These were to become apprentices, 
forsooth, hedged about with law, and in a few years to be their 
own masters — positively to possess the use of their own limbs ! 
This was past all bearing ; and to render matters worse, a portion 
only of the miserable solatium awarded to the lawful proprietors for 
the loss of the indispensable services of their slaves reached the 
said proprietors' pockets — chiefly, it would appeal", on account of the 
drafts being made payable in London, instead of at Cape Town ; 
a chance cleverly speculated upon by some English capitalists, 
who, foreseeing the probable difficulty, despatched an agent to the 
Cape, and he, taking advantage of the financial ignorance of the 
boers, bought up their claims, in man}'' instances, it is said, at less 
than half their value ! The enraged farmers hesitated no longer ; 
they would pack up their household stuff, and trek away to the 
north-east frontier, beyond the Orange River — to the fertile 
country about Natal — no matter where, or through what difficulty 
and danger — their rifles would make a road, and enable them, too, to 
keep their own against all comers, save, perhaps, the English, who 
would scarcely, however, be induced by their new-fangled notions 
of black equality, to follow them into the distant wilderness. This 
was a natural, although it proved to be a mistaken calculation ; 
and preparations for the Dutch exodus were carried on with 

No. 33. 9 



THE WAR IN CAFFRARIA. 

eagerness and vigour. But before any effective arrangement or 
combination could be agreed upon, the Caffre war of 1834-5 burst 
upon the unprepared colony, swept the eastern frontier, from the 
Winterberg to the sea, devastating all before it, and surging 
onwards considerably further westward than Graham's Town and 
Bathurst. Every dwelling, every farmstead in the route of the 
yelling savages, was given to the flames ; and such of the inhabi- 
tants as failed to escape, either to Graham's Town or one of the 
eastern forts, were ruthlessly murdered. Purcell, the trader before 
spoken of, had been assassinated at Hintza's own kraal (village) 
across the Kei ; and that unavenged crime was now, at the close 
of December in the same year that it befell, followed by scores of 
similar deeds ; whilst the material losses suffered from this unpro- 
voked attack were afterwards officially ascertained to have been 
5438 horses, 111,418 cattle, 156,878 sheep, and 455 houses; 
reducing 7000 colonists to absolute destitution. 

To meet this invasion, Colonel Somerset, the commandant on the 
frontier, had of disposable troops 400 infantry and 200 mounted 
Hottentots ! These were quickly concentrated in defence of 
Graham's Town, already crowded with panic-stricken fugitives, not 
from the open country only, but also from Bathurst, which, enclosed 
by an immense thicket on the banks of the Kowsie, could not be 
defended. Dispatch after dispatch was hurried off to the governor, 
Sir B. d'Urban, at Cape Town ; though whether he would be able, 
with the mere handful of troops he had there, to render effective 
aid, was a matter of grave doubt and concernment with those who 
knew how affairs really stood. The terrified fugitives in Graham's 
Town — a by no means secure place of refuge — beheld, as they 
looked forth upon the night, the entire horizon lit redly up with 
the flames of their blazing homesteads — a circle of devouring fire, 
in which were being consumed the fruits of fifteen years of peace- 
ful industry! St George's Church, on the first Sunday that 
occurred during these miserable and anxious days, was crowded 
all day long with an agitated multitude eager to take part in the 
services ; and the one celebrated late at night, has been described 
as a peculiarly affecting and impressive one ; the' galleries being 
filled with weeping women and children, who had just with 
difficulty escaped from their ruined homes. The chapter read on 
this occasion, Isaiah 37th, was singularly appropriate ; and never, 
perhaps, has the prophet's sublime supplications to the Lord God 
of Hosts for help against the heathen, excited profounder echoes 
than arose from the troubled hearts of the pale worshippers 
assembled in that rude temple of a naked city, founded but the 
other day in the very midst of a wilderness swanning with African 
savages. 

Help was not far off, and the bold countenance maintained by 
Colonel Somerset gave time for its arrival. The answer from Sir 
B. d'Urban was brought by Colonel, now General Sir Harry 
Smith, who, with four companies of infantry and a troop of 

10 



THE WAR IN CAFFRARIA. 

eavalry, had performed the journey from Cape Town in six almost 
unresting days and nights. He brought great news. The 72d 
Regiment, on its way to India, had touched at the Cape in the very 
crisis of this peril, and was now on the way to Port Elizabeth, 
accompanied by Sir B. d' Urban himself. Great news, indeed ! 
It was a special Providence, everybody said ; and confidence, 
soon swelling into audacity, succeeded to the consternation felt 
during the previous fortnight. It was soon ascertained, too, that 
the boers, satisfied — by positive assurances from high quarters 
they afterwards declared — that the CafFres were to be effectually 
dealt with this time, after the old commando style, with an 
improvement thereon, were turning out in large numbers ; and 

i the 72d Regiment, which, with Sir B. d' Urban, arrived at 
Port Elizabeth on the 11th of January 1835, actually marched 
into the town, there was an immediate cry for an impetuous, wide, 
sweeping, unsparing advance, which should not only drive the 
whole of the murdering Caffres over the Kei, once for all, but teach 
them such a lesson as would prevent them from recrossing it in 
a hurry again. So far as a prompt advance went, the wishes of 
the colonists were fulfilled, and a vigorous and dashing one it was. 
The Regulars, the Graham's Town Volunteers, the boers, the 
Hottentots, vied with each other in zeal and alacrity. The Fish 
River Bush was cleared in an incredibly short space of time, 
and the fierce, retributive march of the British force was only 
stayed on the eastern side of the Kei, and after the full submission 
of Hintza, who, with his son Kreili and relative Boctoo, came 
with a retinue of some 150 persons into the British camp, to 
arrange the conditions of peace. The conditions finally agreed to 
by Sir B. d' Urban, though much lighter, in a pecuniary sense, 
than the justice of the case required, w T ent no doubt to the extent 
of Hintza's ability to comply with. They were : the condign 
punishment of the murderer of Purcell, and 300 head of cattle, as 
some compensation to his widow ; 50,000 head of cattle, and 1000 
horses, in part replacement of the losses sustained by the colonists ; 
and, finally, the liberation of the nation of Fingoes, who were to 
be allowed to depart into the British territory, and to carry with 
them such domestic requirements and stock as would be necessary 
for their location in their new homes. This last condition was to 
Hintza and his trans-Keians a very bitter one, but Sir B. d'Urban 
was inexorable upon this point. The Fingoes had taken part with 
the British as soon as they heard of the advance, supplied useful 
information and other aid, and could not therefore be abandoned. 
So exasperated were the Caffres generally when they heard of this 

illation, that they began massacring a number of the unfortu- 
nate Fingoes in the vicinity of the British camp. Hintza, upon 
being remonstrated with upon his people's atrocious doings, 
exclaimed : ' What ! may we not do as we please with our own 
dogs 1 ' He, however, pretended to send orders to stop the mas- 
sacre, which not being obeyed, Colonel Smith bluntly assured him, 

n 



THE WAR IN CAFFRAItlA. 

that if he were not instantly more successful with other messengers, 
he would hang him, his son Kreili, and Boctoo, up to the nearest 
tree, without delay or hesitation. This produced the desired effect ; 
the butchery still going on was stopped ; and, soon afterwards, 
the treaty upon the precited conditions was consented to on 
both sides. 

We now turn over a brilliant page in the grimed and spotted 
annals of these Mars — that which records the passing" of the 
Kei, on the 7th of May 1835, of the liberated Fingoe nation, 
under the protection of the British forces. Their muster was 
4000 men, G600 women, and 11,700 children : they had with them 
27,000 head of cattle, which were driven forward by the men ; 
the women were loaded with baskets of corn, sleeping- mats, 
milking-buckets, and cooking-pots, and on their backs sometimes 
more than one child. This rescued people, as they marched on 
exultingly towards the British territory, broke into snatches of 
rejoicing- and triumphant song*, of a wild pleasing character, it is 
said, interspersed with continued exclamations to each other, as if 
the repetition was necessary to assure themselves of the almost 
incredible fact: Siyaya-Ebul-Unp-Wcni — 'We g'o to the place of 
the right [good?] people.' It is pleasant to be able to add, that 
these people have since approved themselves the faithful and 
efficient auxiliaries of the power by which they were liberated 
from the cruel thraldom of the Caffre. 

This important matter achieved, difficulties arose with respect to 
the delivery of the cattle agreed for, although Sir B. d ; Urban con- 
sented to be satisfied with half the number for the present; the 
other moiety to be delivered at a future period. Hintza pretended 
that the reason the cattle were not brought in was, that he himself 
was not present with his people to enforce his orders ; and he at last 
proposed that Colonel Smith and 'a small party' should accom- 
pany him to the Caffre kraals ; in which case, all difficulty would 
be at once removed. Colonel Smith communicated this proposi- 
tion to Sir B. d'Urban, who at the time was at King- William's 
Town, a new settlement on the Buffalo River, and he, after some 
hesitation, consented to it; but instead of ' a small' party," he sent 
orders that 500 men should accompany Colonel Smith, and the 
important hostages, Hintza, Kreili, and Boctoo. Hintza had been 
staying at Colonel Smith's quarters during the whole of the 
negotiations ; and that officer, before setting- out, plainly told him, 
that if he attempted to escape, he would shoot him without a 
moment's hesitation. With this distinct understanding', the party 
set out ; and nothing of moment occurred till they arrived at a 
narrow cattle-track in the face of some hills rising- from the cast 
bank of the Xabecca stream, and presently opening into narrow 
kloofs, covered with the impenetrable bush of South Africa. Not 
far beyond these hills was a large Caffre kraal. Hintza, who 
was mounted on a strong horse, which, it was noticed, he had 
spared during- the dav, rod' foremost, close by Colonel Smith. 

12 



THE WAR IN CAFFRARIA. 

Suddenly, Hintza darted off at full speed, instantly followed by the 
colonel, shouting to him to stop, and threatening-, if he did not, to 
shoot him through the head. Hintza for all reply half-turned in 
hie Middle, and hurled an assagai at his pursuer, which missed its 
inark by a few inches only. Colonel Smith, still galloping at 
speed, then drew a pistol, aimed, and fired : it flashed in the pan ; 
and having no better luck with another, he threw it at Hintza's 
head, which it struck pretty smartly. The Caffre huts were by 
this time in sight ; and Colonel Smith, aware that not a moment 
must be lost, buried his spur-rowels in his horse's flanks, and the 
animal by springing madly forward enabled him to grapple Hintza 
by the collar of his harass (cloak), and pull him to the g-round. 
The colonel, so far successful, could not, however, check his horse, 
which carried him on to a considerable distance, thereby liberating 
Hintza, who immediately took to his heels, and endeavoured to 
grain the -belter of the bush. Close up by this time was Mr 
( i . Southey, a mounted officer in command of the guides, who 
presently tired, and wounded the Caffre chief in the leg\ Hintza 
uttered a cry of pain, but limped on, and succeeded in reaching, 
and for a time concealing- himself in the bush. By and by, Mr 
Southey sighted him, fired again, and Hintza's head was almost 
literally blown off. Thus miserably perished this redoubtable 
trans- Keian chief, one of the prime instigators, and certainly the 
most powerful member of the confederacy engaged in this first 
serious Caffre war. 

We need not dwell further upon the details of this thoroughly 
successful campaign — successful, that is, in a military sense. The 
uncompensated losses of the colonists had, however, been enor- 
mous ; and Sir B. d'Urban resolved upon taking effective pre- 
cautions against the recurrence of such calamities. The Kei was 
to be the new boundaiy ; and Sir Benjamin proposed that it should 
be made a real, not a nominal one, by driving the Caffres over 
it, and the erection of a number of forts along the frontier-line. 
Above all, he was determined that so wily and unscrupulous an 
enemy should not be permitted to hold possession of the Amatola 
Mountains, from which they could, at any favourable moment, 
swoop upon the open, richly-cultivated district of Albany, and 
their murderous and marauding purposes accomplished, reshelter 
themselves in its fastnesses from the pursuit of any force less 
than an army. 

The Caffrarian chiefs were profoundly dismayed, there is no 
doubt of that, by the proclaimed determination of the British 
general. The predicted time when Caffreland should die by the 
hands of the Children of the Foam had, they feared, arrived, when 
deliverance reached them from an unexpected quarter. Lord 
Glenelg, then colonial secretary, happily for them, dissented alto- 
gether from Sir B. d'Urban's estimate of the Caffre character, 
and the means of securing the peace of the colony. His lordship 
mildly rebuked Sir Benjamin for calling- the Caffres 'wolves;' 

13 



THE WAR IN CAFFRARIA. 

hinted, upon anonymous authority, at the general's extreme severity 
towards those worthy people ; and peremptorily ordered that all 
the newly-acquired territory should be given up, and the British 
forces withdrawn within the old boundary of the Fish River, 
which, in its lower course, was to be the limit of the eastern fron- 
tier ; only, as the Hottentot settlement on the Kat could not be 
given up, the northern part of the frontier-line was to be carried 
along- the hills between that river and the Chummie. Fort Will- 
shire, moreover, on the Keiskamma, which had cost England an 
enormous sum — L. 50,000, it is said — was to be abandoned ; and 
that nothing- might be omitted likely to insure the success of a 
pacific policy, and to obviate any future cattle-collisions, agents 
were appointed at different stations, clothed with diplomatic func- 
tions of a certain sort, to whom the aggrieved person or persons 
must first make complaint, and not by any means dare to follow the 
spoor or tracks of his or their abstracted animals, till that func- 
tionary gave them leave to do so. To Lord Glenelg, also, is due 
the suggestion, afterwards earned out by Sir H. Pottinger, of a 
Caffre police to put down cattle-stealing, and secure the quiet of 
the frontier. 

Sir B. d'Urban refused to incur the responsibility of attempting 
to govern the colony in accordance with this policy, and forthwith 
sent in his resignation. The treaty was, notwithstanding, con- 
cluded in 1836 by Andries Strockenstrom — a highly respectable 
colonist, of Dutch parentage, who had rendered good service 
during the war. For achieving this treaty, he was created 
lieutenant-governor of the eastern province, received the honour 
of knighthood, and presented with a pension of L.700 a year, 
payable by the people of Great Britain, which he still enjoys. 

Notwithstanding the outcry instantly raised against this treaty 
by the colonists, no one for a moment doubted that Lord Glenelg's 
intentions in thus returning good for evil, were of the purest, 
most amiable kind ; and it is unfortunate that his well-meant 
policy should, in its practical results, have proved just the reverse 
of what he had anticipated. The English colonists were, however, 
from the first amazed and indignant at the treaty ; the boers 
were rendered more furious than ever; whilst the Caffre chiefs 
attributed the favour shewn them to some unsuspected weakness 
on the part of their adversaries — and quite naturally ; for how 
should men who respect no authority but that of force, compre- 
hend no reason hut that of necessity, be able to appreciate rightly 
the benevolent motives governing the conduct of the English 
colonial secretary ? The mode of action adopted by the three 
parties, in circumstances so entirely unexpected, was characteristic 
and instructive. The British colonists, having first burned Sir 
Andries Strockenstrom in effigy, commenced a vigorous agitation 
for representative government, as the only means of emancipating 
themselves from the control of the colonial office ; the Dutch boers 
finished packing their wagons, determined to be off without 
a 



THE WAR IN CAFFRARIA. 

further delay, and leave the colony to sink or swim as good or 
evil fortune might determine, though they had little doubt of 
what all this coaxing of Caffres and dandling of blacks would 
come to ; and the CafFre, quietly resettling himself in the fast- 
nesses from winch he had been expelled, organised at his leisure 
the sanguinary outbreak of 1844. 

Sir George Napier was prevailed upon to accept the command 
vacated by the resignation of Sir B. d'Urban. The chief incidents 
which marked his otherwise uneventful administration, was the 
emigration of the disaffected boers. Some of these people treked 
off to the north-east, under the guidance of an Albany farmer of 
the name of Louis Treichard, and spread themselves (June 1836) 
along the banks of the Vaal, beyond the Orange River, in a fertile 
; between the twenty-sixth and twenty-seventh parallel of 
south latitude ; spite of the resistance of Moseklate, a neighbouring- 
Caffre chief, whom they soon taught reason, after their peculiar 
manner of giving such lessons. Others, under the guidance of 
Peter Retief, forced their way into the rich country about Natal, 
thereby coming into hostile contact with Dingaan, the successor 
of Chaka in the sovereignty of the Zoolahs. Only one serious 
battle took place between the Zoolahs and the emigrant boers. 
The Dutch farmers' line of battle was a peculiar one. They 
formed an enclosure with their wagons, firmly lashed together, 
placing the women and children in the centre, the horses next 
them, and the farmers themselves, with their long rifles, imme- 
diately within the line of wagons. Hundreds of Zoolahs — thou- 
sands, by some accounts — were slain in the attempt to force this 
formidable barricade ; and when put to flight, the survivors were 
pursued by the remounted farmers for miles, and shot down 
without pity or remorse. These emigrants, finally settled at about 
fifty miles from Port Natal, immediately commenced building 
Pietermaritzburg ; and under the inspection of one Andries 
Pretorius, proclaimed themselves an independent republic, under 
the protection of the king of Holland. 

This absurd proceeding was taken no notice of by the colonial 
government till they attempted, in 1841, to make practical appli- 
cation of their independence by attacking the Griquas, a half- 
breed between CafFre and Hottentot. This the colonial office*eould 
not for a moment tolerate ; and Captain Smith, of the 27th Regi- 
ment, was sent against them from Graham's Town, at the head of 
250 men and five guns. After a march of 600 miles through a 
rugged country, intersected by a hundred streams, he arrived at 
Port Natal in the early part of May 1842 ; upon hearing which, 
President Pretorius ordered him to quit the territory of the 
republic of Pietermaritzburg without delay. This message the 
English officer replied to by an immediate attack upon the capital, 
in which his force got roughly handled ; and after three hours' 
fighting, Captain Smith was compelled to retreat with the loss of 
two of his guns. A fierce skirmish two davs afterwards resulted 

15 



THE WAR, IN CAFFRARIA. 

in the loss of another gun ; and Captain Smith had no resource 
but to intrench himself in the best manner he could, and patiently 
await the succour which he despatched an active runner of the 
name of King-, to Graham's Town, to tell his pressing- need of. 
Captain Smith's defence of his hastily improvised encampment 
was a brave and successful one ; for although more than half of 
his horses had been consumed for food, he still held his post on the 
k i(ith of June, when Lieutenant-colonel Cloete arrived at Port 
Natal, in the Southampton frigate. Some resistance, easily brushed 
aside, was offered to the landing of the troops from the frigate; 
but on Colonel Cloete preparing to attack Pietermaritzburg, 
the republic yielded without further contest, and was formally 
abolished by proclamation. Captain Smith remained in command 
of the posts about Natal with a force of 350 men. 

Meanwhile, another Caffre conspiracy was hatching in the 
recesses of the Amatolas. Sandilli, whilst eagerly looking forward 
to the day when he should attain his majority (1841), and the 
unshared, unchallenged command of the Gaika tribes, had been 
feeding his natural vanity and presumption with wizard predictions, 
which, in direct opposition to earlier and equally respectable pro- 
phecy, announced that he was the victorious leader destined to 
resume the conquering march of his nation towards the southern 
seas, and sweep away the intrusive white man, that had so long 
barred its progress. Sandilli felt or affected implicit faith in these 
breath-bubbles ; but his lips kept the secret of his heart, young as 
he was, and it was only from the less cautious tongue of Macomo 
that expressions were sometimes heard to fall which might have 
put the colonists on their guard. Macomo had several times been 
heard to say, that he would never build himself a dwelling till he 
could erect it on the territory from which he had been expelled 
to make room for the Hottentot settlement — in itself a great 
offence to Caffre ideas, quite as much as the affairs of the Fingoes; 
and the annihilation of both settlements, or the reduction of the 
individuals composing- them to bondage, was a settled point with 
the Caffres — when they had once rid themselves of the whites. 
With all this, the mask of an affected resignation to the defeat of 
1835 continued to be successfully worn by the conspirators, when, 
as occasionally happened, they came in contact with the colonial 
authorities. Sir G. Napier had a conference with the Gaika 
chiefs in 1839, at a missionary station on the Chummie, when 
Tyali, Sandilli's half-brother, spoke with a charming ingenuous- 
ness as follows : — ' You are our father, Ave are your children ; 
and if after this, anything goes wrong, do with Sandilli as you 
would with your own son. Be patient and long-suffering : give 
him your advice, and refer him to his father's laws. We cannot 
entirely put an end to the stealing, because we do not know of it. 
Perhaps, while we are speaking, the thieves are out and moving 
about. You are like a parent to us : be patient with us, as we are 

your children.' 

]<; 



THE WAR IN CAFFRARIA. 

Such speeches as these, of which there was an abundance during" 
the next few years, must have entirely disabused the Colonial 
( Mfice of any suspicion previously entertained there of the good 
faith and loyal intentions of the Caft're tribes ; for Sir P. Maitland, 
a distinguished soldier, but much too aged for active campaigning-, 
was sent out, on the retirement of Sir G. Napier, to pass a few 
quiet years in the evening' of his life as governor of the 'now 
thoroughly tranquillised Cape Colony.' The new g-overnor was 
not long- left in doubt as to the delusion under which his patrons 
at home were labouring- with reg-ard to Cape affairs ; for almost 
simultaneously with his arrival out, overt preliminaries of the 
long-contemplated outbreak, by the stealthy assassination of a 
number of frontier Hottentot herdsmen, commenced. It was 
suggested by the intercessory or diplomatic agents we have spoken 
of, that the cattle-keepers, being armed, not only irritated the 
( 'allies by a needless display of precautionary force, but supplied 
an almost irresistible inducement to slay them, hi order to obtain 
possession of their arms ; and whether it might not, therefore, be 
advisable, with a view to make things pleasant, that the herds- 
men should follow their vocation in the peaceful guise that 
naturally beseemed it. This politic suggestion, quite seriously 
offered, did not avert the storm — perhaps it was made too late — no 
more than did the comforting- declaration of Sandilli himself, who, 
at the head of 2000 warriors, well mounted upon stolen horses, 
and accoutred with arms manufactured at Birming-ham, visited 
the lieutenant-governor, Colonel Hare, at Block Drift, now Fort 
Hare, and assured him that the colonists had nothing whatever to 
fear, ' upon the word of a Caft're ! ' 

The value of the word of a CafFre was speedily and strikingly 
illustrated by the repetition, in the beginning of 1846, of the 
audacious attack made on the colony in Sir B. d'Urban's time, 
but now on a much better combined and more extensive scale. Sir 
P. Maitland very narrowly escaped being slain or captured at the 
very outset of the war ; and the struggle in the Fish River Bush, 
in the Waterkloof, in the Amatolas, was a desperate, bloody, yet 
indecisive one. On the 17th April 1846, the baggage-wagons 
of the 7th Dragoon Guards and the 91st Regiment, fell into the 
hands of the Caffres at Burn's Hill ; a misfortune which an im- 
mense fuss was made about, both in the colony and in England, 
although it could have no possible military result, and would not 
have occurred, if unflinching gallantry and devotion on the part 
of the troops could have prevented it. Fort Hare, defended by- 
Major Lindsay, was attacked by Sandilli in person, fruitlessly of 
course ; and many affairs of posts and detachments took place in 
contiguous localities, all more or less harassing, sang-uinary, and 
indecisive. One only opportunity of striking an effective blow at 
the stealthy CafFre presented itseif to the angry impatience of the 
soldiers. Major Somerset, with the Dragoon Guards, and some 
mounted Hottentots, had halted for a brief space near the Gwanga, 

17 



THE WAR IN CAFFRARIA. 

when an officer, who had been riding alone at some distance from 
the troops, galloped up with the intelligence, that a large body of 
Caffres were only a short distance off, in an open flat, concealed 
from view by some rising-ground. The soldiers vaulted in a 
moment to their saddles ; and before the Caffres, whom the sudden 
appearance of the mounted officer had greatly alarmed, could near 
the bush, towards which they instinctively hastened, the polished 
helmets of the dragoons crowned the intervening ridge — one 
fierce hurrah burst from their ranks, and the next minute they 
were charging through and through the panic-stricken savages, 
who were cut down by hundreds, and without mercy; for the 
recollection of Burn's Hill, and other bitter lights, where they 
could not reach, and seldom see their adversaries, nerved the arms 
and steeled the hearts of the soldiers. This affair had a favourable 
influence on the struggle ; the Caffres found that even ' civilised ' 
warfare, which they had been almost disposed to laugh at, had its 
terrible aspects ; a manifest lowering of their tone was the almost 
immediate consequence ; and several of the chiefs intimated a 
very decided opinion, ' that the land had been troubled long 
enough.' Peace, however, involving future impunity, was not 
quite to be had just yet, at least, for the asking : reinforcements 
from England were arriving. One of the great sea-wagons of 
the Children of the Foam, ' that spit forth red men, 7 had arrived 
on the eastern coast, and spit forth the Rifle Brigade of green 
men, a most valuable force in such a war ; the aged veteran, Sir 
P. Maitland,* was relieved of the command by the end of February 
1847 ; Sir Henry Pottinger, the new governor, and Sir G. Ber- 
keley, the new commander-in-chief, had reached Cape Town, and 
a vigorous campaign would no question be initiated without delay. 
It so proved. The Amatolas were simultaneously attacked from the 
north, east, and west approaches, by Major Salter, Colonel Somerset, 
and Colonel Campbell. They encountered no effective resistance ; 
and it was soon apparent that the contest was verging to a close. 
Macomo was the first considerable chief to give up the desperate 
game ; he surrendered at Fort Hare, and solaced his captivity with 
copious libations of strong waters, which kept him in a state of con- 
stant intoxication from morning till night. Sutu, Sandilli's mother, 
an extremely plethoric lady, whom her amiable boy had once with 
some difficulty been dissuaded from burning alive, came in to offer 
terms for her son, and was told that unconditional submission alone 
remained for him. Nonnube, General Campbell's grand-daughter, 
also protested her anxiety for peace, ' but that Seyolo had his hand 

* The frequent change of governors of the Cape Colony is a remarkable feature 
in its history ; nearly all of those important functionaries having resigned, or been 
deprived of office, just when experience had fitted them, one would suppose, to 
discharge its duties efficiently. Since 1806, there have been fifteen. Here are tbeir 
names in the order of succession : Sir D. Baird, Honourable H. Grey, Earl Caledon, 
Sir J. Cradock, Honourable R. Meade, Sir Rufane Donkin, Lord Charles Somerset, 
Sir R. Bourke, Sir G. L. Cole, Sir B. d' Urban, Sir G. Napier, Sir P. Maitland, Sir 
H. Pottinger, Sir Harrv Smith, and the Honourable George Cathcart. 
18 



THE WAR IN" CAFFRARIA. 

upon her shoulder, and kept her down/ At last Sandilli himself, 
unable longer to evade the pursuit of the Rifles and mounted 
Hottentots, gave himself up, and was marched a prisoner into 
Graham's Town, on Sunday the 25th of October 1847. With 
Sandilli's surrender terminated the second general Caffre war, 
during- which the Hottentots and Fingoes had rendered efficient 
services. The burghers and remaining boers had turned out in 
small numbers, and reluctantly, except when immediate danger 
pressed, mainly in consequence of their firm persuasion, that the 
temporising system pursued towards the savages would render 
Caffre wars the chronic plague of the colony ; and that peace with 
such a people on the heretofore accorded conditions, was only 
another name for breathing-time, to enable the CafFres to organise 
fresh aggressions upon the lives and properties of the whites. 

Sir Henry Pottinger would seem to have been of a very different 
opinion, and must have been convinced in his own mind, that the 
insurrectionary spirit of the Caffres was completely broken by 
the issue of the recent contest, and their once savage instincts 
changed to a taste for the peaceful avocations of civilised life. 
He unhesitatingly admitted all Caffres in the rebellious districts 
to the privileges of British citizens, upon merely surrendering, or 
pretending to surrender, their arms — a few assagais sufficed — and 
taking out a kind of ticket of registration, by which acts they 
were held to have become the dutiful subjects of Queen Victoria. 
Sir Henry, furthermore, intrusted to Lieutenant Davis, formerly 
adjutant of the 90th Light Infantry, the organisation of a Caff re 
frontier police, who were to be well armed and drilled after the 
manner of English soldiers. Sir Henry, however, did not conclude 
any arrangement as to the line or limit of the eastern frontier, he 
being aware that Sir Harry Smith, the hero of Aliwal, would 
shortly arrive to assume the chief command. Sir Harry's coming 
was impatiently looked for by the colonists generally, not so much 
on account of his high military reputation, as that he had for- 
merly been a warm partisan of Sir B. d'Urban's policy, and it was 
hoped he would pursue the same course now. Another pressing 
affair rendered Sir Harry Smith's presence desirable. Pretorius 
and the boers north of the Orange River, with whom the expected 
governor was also a great favourite, had passed from legal remon- 
strances and petitions for redress of grievances to open revolt — a 
mischief which required prompt dealing with in the actual state of 
the colony, and the more pressingly, that the Dutch settlers in the 
Natal country were again shewing signs of a kindred insubordi- 
nation. Pretorius sought an interview with Sir Henry Pottinger, 
with a view to settle the dispute by negotiation. But Sir Henry, 
not wishing to fetter the actions of General Smith in the matter, 
declined seeing Pretorius. Sir Henry was also especially careful 
that the two important prisoners, Sandilli and Macomo, should be 
kept in safe custody till his successor's arrival ; and that they might 
be so kept, he directed Macomo to be sent under escort to a station 

19 



THE WAR IN CAFFRARIA. 

at Alg*oa Bay, greatly to the discontent and dismay of that person- 
age, who passionately entreated permission to reside on parole in 
his own country. This was, as a matter of course, bluntly refused ; 
and as a last resource, his daughter Anakeya, a youthful Caffrarian 
belle, of very high pretensions as an African beauty, presented 
herself before Colonel Campbell of the 91st Regiment, and offered, 
with heroic self-sacrifice, to become that officer's wife — not, per- 
haps, his 'great' wife, as he might already have one — on condition 
that her father, Macomo, was permitted to dwell in peace with his 
own people. That request granted, she was quite resigned ' to accept 
the colonel's country for her country, and his home for her home.' 
Colonel Campbell was a good deal startled by this sacrificial pro- 
posal, and with much kindness and delicacy explained to the damsel, 
that although two Mrs Campbells would, in Caffraria, be quite. 
orthodox and proper, such an arrangement would, in Scotland, be 
regarded in a very different lig'ht ; and he must therefore, even if 
he had the power of granting her request with regard to Macomo, 
which he had not — the governor's orders being clear and peremp- 
tory upon the matter — decline her very handsome offer ; an answer 
which the young* lady, after much pouting and entreaty, was fain 
to return with to her father, who, shortly afterwards, was sent off 
to Algoa Bay. 

In December 1847, the batteries of Cape Town announced the 
arrival of Sir Harry Smith, and the departure of Sir Henry 
Pottinger. The new governor and his lady were received with 
enthusiasm ; and Sir Harry addressed himself to business without 
delay, although in a mode that, but for the reliance placed upon 
his knowledge of the Caffre mind and temperament, must have 
appeared not surprising only, but altogether unaccountable. At 
his first meeting with Macomo, Sir Harry ordered him to kneel 
down, and then placing his foot on his neck — not figuratively, 
but in downright boot-and-spur reality — said : ' This is to let 
you know that I am come hither to teach Caffreland that I 
am chief and master here, and this is the way I shall treat the 
enemies of the Queen of England.' To Sandilli he addressed the 
sarcastic question : ' Who is now the great chief of Caffreland \ ' 
to which that ingenuous young Caffre meekly replied : ' Kreili ' 
(Hintza, the trans-Keian chief's son and successor). l No,' replied 
Sir Harry Smith ; ' / am the chief of Caffreland — the Inkoso 
Eukuli. From me, as the representative of the Queen of England, 
you all hold your land. My word shall be your law, else 1 will 
sweep you from the face of the earth.' On the 23d January, the 
active governor was at King William's Town, where he made a 
number of Caffre chiefs, in the j)resence of some 2000 of their 
countrymen, kiss his boot in token of submission ; after which, he 
tore a sheet of paper to shreds, to emblemise that not paper stipula- 
tions, but his will, should be the future rule of law. ' There go 
your treaties!' exclaimed the triumphant governor as the paper 
shreds flew away. The action was no doubt a significant one, and 
•jo 



THE WAR IN CAFFRARIA. 

had, we daresay, a good dramatic effect ; but we see by the Cape 
Bftpers, that such unusual vagaries shook considerably the confi- 
dence previously reposed in his wisdom — much more so when it 
wa- found that the boot-kissing- chiefs were to be made justices of 
the peace; that Sandilli and Macomo were not only liberated, 
but presented with brass-mounted batons, symbolic of their new 
dignity, to be placed beside the cow-tails, which, streaming- from 
short poles stuck in the ground before a chief's tent or hut, is the 
ancient. Caffrarian emblem of authority. Sir Harry next decided 
that the Keiskamma should be the eastern limit of the colony 
proper ; and that East London should be the name of the port at 
i Jit* mouth of the Buffalo. 

Having" thus summarily disposed of the Caffre troubles, Sir 
Harry Smith 'directed his attention to the state of affairs beyond 
the Orange River. After some time spent in fruitless negotiation, 
he published, on the 17th of August, a last warning- to the contu- 
macious Dutch colonists upon the folly and wickedness of their 
proceedings, which, not producing- the hoped for effect, Sir Harry 
crossed the Orange River in force — an operation greatly facilitated 
by the inflated pontoons (an American invention) he had brought 
from England ; and, finally, inflicted a heavy defeat on the boers 
at Bloem Fountain, where he found them strongly posted, and in 
large numbers. The 'general, writing of this affair, says: ( A 
more rapid, fierce, and well-directed fire I have never seen main- 
tained ; and for some time they held their ground, when a rush of 
the Rifle Brigade upon their left flank, of the 45th upon the left 
centre, and the 91st upon the right centre, carried all before it.' 
The ultimate result of this decisive blow, was the formal assump- 
tion by the British crown of the responsibilities and duties of the 
Orange River sovereignty. 

The insurrection of the Caffres and boers having been thus put 
down, the extra regiments returned to Great Britain ; and except 
amongst the colonists themselves, an opinion prevailed that we 
had seen the last of Caffre and all other Cape wars. As a slight 
measure of precaution, however, as well as to reward a number of 
well-deserving veterans, many soldiers discharged from the 27th 
and 91st Regiments, and 7th Dragoon Guards, were presented with 
small grants of land, and located at Alice, Auckland, Woburn — 
military villages near the frontier. 

The progress made by the British Cape colonists towards the 
obtainment of their panacea for all existing or prospective evils, 
Caffre wars inclusive — namely, self-government by means of a 
representative assembly — being a subject apart from the. scope of 
this narrative, has been merely incidentally glanced at ; but we 
now come to an event in Cape constitutional agitation which had 
so marked an effect in bringing about and envenoming the war — 
now, it may be feared, only temporarily extinguished — as to oblige 
us to touch slightly upon it. In September 1849, the Neptune 
convict ship cast anchor in Table Bay, and the colonists of Cape 

21 



THE WAR IN CAFFRARIA. 

Town— joined subsequently by their more distant fellow-citizens — 
instantly and vehemently opposed themselves to the landing- of the 
convicts on their shores. Not content, however, with a legal agita- 
tion and remonstrance against Lord Grey's penal project, they 
forthwith placed her Majesty's forces in a state of moral siege or 
blockade, by peremptorily forbidding- any one to furnish them with 
provisions: and Sir Harry Smith, thinking- himself obliged to 
acquiesce in this strange proceeding-, sent for supplies to Mada- 
gascar and the Mauritius, and kept the wretched outcasts in the 
Neptune tossing- in the bay till fresh instructions were received 
from England. The violent conduct of the colonists had of course 
an accompaniment of violent speeches, very loudly echoed and 
applauded, upon the facility with which, if need be, the indepen- 
dence of the colony could be vindicated against Great Britain— 
speeches taken quite seriously by the eagerly-listening, armed, and 
disciplined Hottentots and their countrymen, who saw in all this 
imbroglio the beginning of the end of white rule in South Africa. 
' Many of them,' writes Sir Harry Smith in his dispatch, dated 
7th April 1852— 'many of them, possessing just sufficient educa- 
tion to make them mischievous and capable of observing what 
occurred at public meetings held within the colony to resist and 
oppose the measures of government, which the colonists regarded 
as the exercise of constitutional rights, though, in point of fact, 
such proceedings approached the brink of anarchy and confusion, 
could not discriminate between national remonstrance and open 
resistance.' The distinction between blockading the Queen's troops 
and ' open resistance ' is so very fine a one, that its non-perception 
might be excused in persons of the most educated vision. Other 
influences were at work to mislead the unfortunate Hottentots. 
AVe again quote Sir Harry Smith's dispatch :— 1 The Hottentots 
had been taught, or had imbibed the marked impression, that they 
were "an oppressed and ill-used race;" and that Holy Writ, 
which they are very fond of quoting, taught them they were 
justified in fighting to regain the country of which they regarded 
themselves as deprived.' Finally, on the 21st of February 1850, 
the Neptune sailed with her living freight for Van Dieman's Land ; 
and bonfires, illuminations, discharges of cannon, proclaimed the 
triumph of the colonists. From this moment, the rebellion of the 
Hottentots was irrevocably decided upon; and they proceeded, 
writes Sir Harry Smith, < covertly to concoct with the Caffres 
those hostile schemes which soon approached maturity.' In reality, 
the reasoning of the Hottentots, up to a certain point, was quite 
logical according to the assumed premises. There were very 
few troops at the Cape ; England, defied by her colonists, would 
certainly send no additional ones to their aid in any extremity ; 
the armed boers were many hundred miles away:' when, then, 
could they hope for a fairer opportunity, in conjunction with their 
smooth-speaking friends the Caffres, of ridding the colony of the 
whites, and dividing it, as proposed, between themselves and their 



22 



THE WAR IN CAFFRARIA. 

allies ? That the Hottentots could not see beyond that consum- 
mation, if attained, their own certain resubjugation by the more 
powerful Caffres to a worse bondage than that from which the 
British government released them, must of course be attributed to 
the but partially developed intellect Sir Harry Smith speaks of. 
The Fingoes alone, of all the black tribes, kept aloof from this 
confederacy, which, before the year was out, had thoroughly 
matured its plan of action. 

Sir Harry Smith held his last conference with ' the restless 
Gaika chiefs ' at Fort Cox, on the 19th of December 1850, before 
which the colonists of Albany, from Bathurst to the Tarka, were 
in a state of feverish agitation in consequence of the now openly- 
menaced attack. It burst upon the colony on the 24th, when 
tumultuous hordes of CafFres and Hottentots threw themselves 
upon the military villages, as they were absurdly designated, of 
Alice, Auckland, Woburn, and others, massacred every man, 
woman, and child they could lay hands on, and fired the entire 
district. The defection amongst the regimental Hottentots shewed 
itself immediately afterwards ; and the CafFre police, well armed 
and disciplined, in readiness for such a chance, joined the rebel 
ranks in a body. Colonel Eyre, of the 27th, after a fruitless 
attempt to capture Sandilli in the fastnesses of the Upper Keis- 
kamma, was compelled to fall hastily back upon King William's 
Town ; Colonel Somerset, checked in the Amatolas, retreated to 
Fort Hare ; and Sir Harry Smith himself was enabled to reach King- 
William's Town only by a luck}*- and rapid dash from Fort Cox, 
at the head of 200 Cape Mounted Rifles, who fortunately remained 
faithful. The eastern province was both figuratively and literally 
on fire ; and Sir Harry Smith's resources for extinguishing- the 
conflagration were, for months, altogether inadequate to such a task, 
' consisting only of 1800 British troops, the greater part of whom 
occupied twelve unavoidable garrisons, leaving only 800 disposable 
for general purposes,' to control thousands of as yet but passively 
rebellious Hottentots, 'and to meet hordes of well-armed, athletic, 
and intrepid barbarians in the field.' This desperate and utterly 
unequal conflict was maintained by the British soldiery with a 
fierce hardihood and resolution which the magnitude of the peril 
served but to augment and inflame. And well it was so ; for, 
surrounded as they were by masses of savage warriors, drawn from 
the eastern as well as western districts of Caffraria, one sig*n of 
hesitation, one but apparent failure, w r ould have thrown, according 
to Sir Harry Smith, the w T hole country into a chaos of tumult and 
rebellion — the troops must have fallen back from their advanced 
positions, the T'Slambie tribes would have risen at once with 
every curty-headed black from Cape Town to Natal. Everywhere 
an iron front was shewn by that ' astonishing infantry ;' the rebel 
Hottentots were shelled out of Fort Alexander on the Kat by 
Colonel Somerset; Hermanes, formerly a friendly CafFre chief, 
was slain in an unsuccessful attack upon Fort Beaufort; and 

23 



THE WAR IN CAFFRARIA. 

ultimately, as reinforcements arrived from England, a deadly and 
protracted struggle, lasting- many months, beneath a burning sun, 
during night-marches, amid torrents of rain, with Sandilli and 
Seyolo in the fastnesses of the Keiskamma and the Amatolas, with 
Macomo strongly intrenched in the Waterkloof — a natural and 
numerously garrisoned fortress — with Stock in the lurking-places 
of the Fish lliver Bush, eventuated, wrote Sir Harry Smith in 
his last dispatch, in the ferocious * Caffres ' being" driven from all 
their strongholds with a loss, by their own account, of 6000 
\varriors, and the destruction of the whole of the Gaika crops, as 
well as of those eastward of the Kei.' Sir William Molesworth, 
the leader of the colonial reform party, spoke as follows of the 
heroic endurance and achievements of the British troops in these 
terrible African wars : — ' I must say, that when I consider the 
position of our gallant troops in South Africa, in the midst of a 
population, one-half of whom are hostile, and the other half are 
in about equal proportions discontented, disaffected, and doubtful 
— when I consider that those troops have not suffered one positive 
defeat — have not lost one single convoy, but have accomplished 
many gallant feats of arms, I think they deserve great credit for 
themselves, and reflect honour upon their veteran commander, 
whose health has been worn out in the service.' A yet more 
valuable and quite as disinterested appreciation of the veteran 
-commander's services in the field, where, at all events, he was 
thoroughly at home, however he might have now and then 
stumbled and lost his way amidst the pitfalls and mazes of the 
council-chamber, was afforded by the colonists, who, notwithstand- 
ing- they had very liberally availed themselves of their consti- 
tutional privilege of criticising- and condemning- every measure, 
civil or military, that had been adopted, heartily recog-nised the 
general's merits when he was about to leave them. 'Sir Harry 
Smith/ says a local paper, ' left King- William's Town for New 
London, to embark in the Styx, at three o'clock in the morning-. 
Althoug-h it was quite dark, a large number of the inhabitants 
turned out in token of respect, and cheered him loudly as he 
passed. At Cape Town, a triumphal arch was- erected at the 
landing-place, decorated with banners, flowers, evergreens, and 
bearing the motto " Gratitude r ' on one side, and " Farewell " on the 
other. He was met at the landing-stairs by the chief-justice, and 
many other of the principal functionaries of the place; and a 
numerous body of merchants and gentlemen of all shades of 
politics accompanied the carriage of the harshly-superseded 
general.' After all, there is nothing- in which Englishmen so 
entirely differ from nations it is needless to name, as in their 

* To give quarter is unknown in Caffre wars, and those of our men who have 
chanced to fall into their hands, have been invariably put to death with torture. 
Serjeant Laing of the 91 St, it has been ascertained, was roasted alive; and the 
band-master of the 74th, Mr Hans Hartung, a most amiable man, and favourite 
with everybody, was tor three days subjected to every imaginable mode of torture 
before death put an end to their fiendish cruelty and his sutferh'^. 
24 



THE AVAR IN CAFFRARIA. 

doubtful, growling, half-recognition of successful greatness, and 
their instant and large appreciation thereof, when death or 
misfortune tumbles the idol from its pedestal. 

Besides the evidences already enumerated of Sir Harry's military 
successes in his last campaign, it is certain that Sandilli and Macomo 
had both, before his departure, become suppliants for peace ; ' which 
wise step was retracted/ said the ex-governor, because ' the fickle 
nature of the Caffre delights in change, which he ever believes will 
turn in some way to his advantage. Peace having- been made by 
me in 1S47 on my arrival in Caffraria, Sandilli is fully impressed 
with the idea that a similar course will be now pursued on the 
arrival of my successor.' If this were so, Sandilli and his friends 
must have been very unpleasantly surprised by the proclamation 
id by the Honourable George Cathcart, Lieutenant-g-overnor, 
High Commissioner, &c, on the 12th day of April 18-3-2, from King 
William's Town, a few days only after his arrival at the Cape, in 
which, addressing- the chiefs and people who dwell between the 
rivers Kei and Keiskamma, he says : l Our great and g'ood Queen 
Victoria, has sent me, George Cathcart, to be your great chief and 
emor. I am come among- you to do good to all those who are 
true and faithful to their word ; therefore Pato, Siwani, Umkai, 
and all those chiefs and men of the T'Slambie tribes who have 
been faithful during- this war, I am your good friend as long- as 
you will allow me to be so. But as for Sandilli, and all the Gaika 
chiefs and people, and the T'Slambies, Seyolo, and Umfundisi, 
and their followers, they have rebelled against their sovereign,. 
Queen Victoria, and have suffered rebel Hottentots and others to 
join them in fighting- against her soldiers. This is a gTeat crime, 
and cannot be forgotten ; therefore, though I wish for peace, and 
that all bloodshed should cease, Sandilli and all those who have 
taken part in this most wicked rebellion, must go beyond the Kei, 
and none of them will ever be suffered to return and live in peace in 
the country they occupied before the war.' This manifesto, thoug-h 
partially approved of, did not go far enough for the colonists, who, 
as ever, contended that no permanent tranquillity could be hoped 
for till every Caffre, whether man, boy, woman, or child, to what- 
ever tribe belonging-, was driven across the Kei, with an intimation, 
that any attempt to return would be visited upon the offender 
1 capitally.' They were much better pleased with General Cath- 
cart's determination to hang- the councillors of Seyolo and Stock, 
who were made prisoners whilst endeavouring- to excite Pato and 
other half-friendly Caffres to join against the whites ; and the 
erection of the gallows at King William's Town for that purpose, 
was received with loud demonstrations of approval; whilst to 
the Caffre chiefs it appears to have suggested, in a very intelligible 
way, that for the future, murder, though accompanied by insur- 
rection, would scarcely be so easily atoned for as it had been. 
General Cathcart also directed the Sappers and Miners to con- 
struct a fort which, commanding the more important passes of 

25 



THE WAR IN CAFFRARIA. 

the Amatolas, would prevent the Caffres from reoccupying those 
fastnesses. In fact, the general tenor of the dispatches received 
from the Cape since Sir Harry Smith's return, fully bear out that 
officer's assertion, that the war, so far as military operations were 
involved, was substantially concluded when he came away, and that 
the sole question remaining- for General Cathcart's solution, was the 
prevention of its recurrence. Sandilli and Macoino, soon after the 
new governor's arrival, renewed their proposals for peace ; and for 
all reply were told, that the preliminary to any negotiation was 
their and their people's retirement beyond the Kei. It could not 
be expected that this bitter condition would be acquiesced in by the 
chiefs of the Gaika tribes, save in the last and most desperate 
extremity, it being well known to be Sandilli and Macomo's long 
since formed opinion, that their enforced residence beyond the Kei 
must render cattle-stealing from the English utterly unprofitable, 
if not impossible, by interposing- the whole width of British 
Caffraria between them and the well-stocked pastures of the colony 
proper ; and a sullen, impotent, but harassing guerilla sort of con- 
test, chiefly in the Amatolas, was for some time maintained. It 
was clear, however, from the first moment of General Cathcart's 
arrival, that the war, so far as the Gaika tribes and their allies 
were concerned, was reduced to a mere system of isolated brigand- 
age, which could have but one termination, and that a not very 
distant one. The Caffres, however, in the vicinnge of the Vaal 
River, emboldened by the compelled inaction of the Dutch colonists, 
had become troublesome ; and as the British general had forbidden 
the boers to take the matter into their own hands, he marched in 
November 1852 at the head of a considerable force, and inflicted 
a severe chastisement upon them on the 20th of the next month, 
at what has been dignified with the name of ' the Battle of Berea.' 
The British, at all events, attacked the Caffres, who as certainly 
ran away, and sustained considerable loss, not in the ' battle,' but 
the flight; a result acknowledged by their commander and principal 
chief, Moshesh, in the following characteristic letter : — ' Borrejo, 
midnight, 20th December 1852. — Your Excellency — This day 
you have fought against my people, and taken much cattle. As 
the object for which you have come is to have a compensation for 
boers, I beg you will be satisfied with what you have taken. I 
entreat peace from you ; you have shewn your power ; you have 
chastised ; let it be enough, I pray you, and let me no longer be 
considered an enemy of the Queen. I will do all I can to keep 
my people in order. Yours dutifully — Moshesh.' General 
Cathcart was not, however, quite so easily satisfied ; much addi- 
tional cattle was required, and ultimately obtained; and terrible 
vengeance was threatened in her Majesty's name should the Caffres 
ever again presume to molest her Dutch subjects ; the gist and 
essence of which menaces were, in the opinion of the boers them- 
selves, as well as of the Caffres, contained in the> significant 
paragraph of the official manifesto which announced the general's 

26 



THE WAR IN CAFFRARIA. 

4 intention of giving- to commandants and field-cornets power to 
make commandos in a regular manner; and with the consent of the 
Resident, to enter your country in search of plundered horses and 
cattle that may be stolen after this time.' This cautiously-worded 
threat seems to corroborate an intimation made in the newspapers a 
short time ago, that the British government have been anxiously 
meditating- some scheme of South African defensive policy, which 
might combine the efficiency of the old commando system with 
the humanity of civilised warfare. The boers, however, interpret 
the announcement according- to their own wishes, and see in it a 
reluctant acknowledgment, that the system pursued since the dis- 
.ivnw ;il of Sir B. d'Urban, has irretrievably broken down, and that 
at no distant day the mass of the British army will be withdrawn, 
and they, the boers, permitted to fight their battles with the fero- 
cious Caffres in their own way, and, as they believe, the only 
effective mode in which they can be so fought. Concede to them 
that privilege, and Ave are told the Queen would have no more 
loyal subjects in South Africa than the hitherto malcontent Dutch 
boers. 

Peace being- concluded with Moshesh. General Cathcart returned 
to his head-quarters, King* William's Town, and was busy with 
the org-anisation of the frontier-line of permanent defence, when 
intelligence reached him in February last, that Sandilli and 
Macomo, who had been for some months expelled the Amatolas 
and other mountain fastnesses, were without followers, and almost 
without food, had ag-ain bethought themselves, as in 1847, 'that 
the land had been troubled long- enough/ and were at length 
willing- to listen to terms of accommodation. Kreili also was 
pleased to inform Colonel Maclean, ' that he had no more strength 
to fight the English/ and was therefore equally anxious with his 
friends, the Gaika chiefs, for renewed amity with Queen Victoria. 
These overtures appear to have been received with a somewhat 
inexplicable eagerness ; and Mr Brownlee was appointed to meet 
Sandilli and Macomo, to assure them of forgiveness and pro- 
tection, but at the same time to intimate, that peace could not be 
made till they and their tribes were beyond the Kei. This condi- 
tion was, however, subsequently modified; and the Gaika tribes — 
Sandilli being guarantee for their future good behaviour — are to 
be permitted to reside in British Caffraria, c within the territory 
of Umhala, situate west of the Kei, between that river and the 
great north road, bounded on the north by the River Thomas;' 
capital punishment, by process of court-martial, to overtake any 
CafFre, chief or otherwise, caught westward of these limits. This 
concession — one of very doubtful policy, according- to the unani- 
mous opinion of the frontier press, and only reluctantly acquiesced 
in because ' it will hasten the time Avhen a less cosily mode of 
colonial defence than the continued presence of a numerous 
British army, must be had recourse to ' — led naturally to fresh 
and more audacious demands from Sandilli and his half-brother 



THE WAR IN CAFFRARIA. 

Macomo. Sandilli declared that the assigned territory was niucli 

too small. Caffres Mere already so numerous there, that the 
intrusion of tlie Gaika tribes ' would oblige them to go to war 
with each other for grass;' whereas the only desire of himself 
and friends for the future, k was to fig-ht for the Queen of the Eng- 
lish ' — a loyal solicitude which he, moreover, represented ought in 
justice to insure the reversal of General Cathcart's order to sur- 
render his own and followers' arms — ' 100 guns at least, in 
addition to the arms carried off by the Caffre police.' Sandilli's 
keen moral perception, however, compelled him to admit that the 
Caffre police, having- obtained their arms in a dishonourable 
tnanner, they, the arms, ought, in strict justice, to be given up, 
and should be, if they could be found — a contingency which, he 
candidly admitted, he entirely despaired of. These objections were 
urged at great length at a subsequent interview of Sandilli, 
Macomo, and other repentant chiefs, with the governor, Sir 
George ( 'athcart, himself. The following extract from the pub- 
lished record of that interview, rends strangely by the light 
thrown upon it by previous Caffre and governor conferences, 
protestations, and promises. His Excellency having said : ' Now 
you are forgiven, and it is peace with you ;' Sandilli's half-brother 
thus replied : — 

Macomo. We have but one word to say and to thank. We 
thank the governor for taking us out of the bush, and for giving 
lis a home to live in, only that it is too small. When a chief errs, 
he is punished and forgiven. This young man [Sandilli] erred, 
and has been punished, and is now forgiven ; but the country you 
have given him is small. Toisi, who formerly occupied it, had but 
a small tribe. Sandilli has a large one, which will not find room 
there. 

The Governor. These are things you should have thought of 
before you went to war. It is too late now. I know, besides, 
that Toisi had but a small tribe, and that it never half filled the 
country allotted him. 

Macomo. We look to you to speak for us, and represent our case 
to the Queen. We are her subjects for ever. When settled in the 
country your excellency has allotted us, Kreili, Umhala, and 
Toisi will affect to be satisfied, but will all the while regard us as 
intruders ; and this will cause constant heart-burnings between us. 

The Governor. I will send your words to the Queen ; but I will 
give you no hope of ever again occupying the Amatolas, as, when 
you were there, you were constantly plotting mischief, and cannot 
be trusted there again. 

The high contracting parties then separated, and the final 
ratification of the terms of peace between her Majesty Queen 
Victoria and Sandilli and Kreili was immediately proclaimed. 
Equally droll as this strange scene, was a proclamation, directed 
at the same time by his Excellency against certain British trad- 
ers, who had been long suspected of furnishing the Caffres with 

2C 



THE WAR IN CAFFRARIA. 

munitions of war, and dissuading them from making- peace with 
the English. The Hon. George Cathcart, the war being- now over, 
thought it his duty no longer to delay solemnly warning- the 
suspected delinquents, that the offence alleged against them was 
nothing lets than high treason; and that, if detected in the com- 
mission thereof, they would certainly have to undergo the penalty 
attached to that crime. Certain burghers of King William's Town 
took great offence at this sort of post-obit proclamation ; and, 
in on address to the governor, warmly protested their loyalty to 
the British crow n; to which his Excellency replied, that that being 
the case, the proclamation could not possibly apply to them. It is 
evident, however, spite of Sir John Pakington's eulogy in April 
(1st of Lord (ilrnelg's dispatch, dated December 1S30, in which 
his lordship .-aid : ' The claim of sovereignty over the new province 
bounded by the Kei must be renounced,' that the policy of Sir B. 
d'Urban — to whom that dispatch was addressed, after seventeen 
years of fruitless efforts to persuade the Caffres into permitting- our 
people to dwell in peace witnin the old boundary — is about, willingly 
or unwillingly, to be acted upon, though with some slight, and, we 
may be quite sure, temporary modification. The immense addition 
of territory involved in the contemplated extension of the eastern 
front ier, has been always forcibly dwelt upon by gentlemen of high 
position and large influence. ' In 1842,' exclaimed Sir W. Moles- 
worth, ' the British Empire in South Africa covered an area of 
110,000 square miles, now it will extend to 260,000 square miles, 
about the same as that of the Austrian Empire.' Another honour- 
able member, Mr Hume, insisted that there is safety only in 
returning to the Fish River boundary, and that the large acqui- 
sition of territory has been effected against the wishes of the 
colonists. With all deference to the opinions of these gentlemen, 
avc cannot but demur to the inferences attempted to be conveyed 
by such statements. It is altogether incorrect to infer that the 
cost and difficulty of defending South Africa increases, or has 
increased, proportionately with the extension of the eastern frontier. 
The line of the Kei is not more extensive, and is certainly easier 
of defence — the sea-communication from Cape Town being always 
open and facile — than the bush-encumbered line of the Fish River; 
and as to withdrawing* within the boundary of the Fish River, 
which, in plain terms, means replacing- the colony in the position it 
held when it was attacked in 1835 — is to fortress an implacable 
and savage enemy within easy spring of the cultivated district of 
Albany, and the thousands of industrious settlers located there. 
We know by experience what that means. 

But the matter has, in reality, passed, or at all events, is about 
to pass, from the control of the home government into that of the 
colonists themselves. Self-government, soon to be practically 
enjoyed by the Cape settlers, both English and Dutch, will settle 
the Caftre, as well as many other colonial difficulties — and this not 
by contracting the Cape territory, nor by amicable, arrangements 



THE WAR IN CATFRARIA. 

with the Caffres and Hottentots. The connection which ought 
to subsist between a gTeat monarchy like that of England and 
her colonies, is beginning* to be generally and clearly understood. 
It is this : that the only union should be an offensive and defen- 
sive federation, for the maintenance of the independence and just 
rights of every member thereof against foreign aggression, 
cemented by the golden link of the crown, and harmonised by the 
freest possible commercial and kindly intercourse — the Houses of 
parliament at Westminster having no more power to make laws 
for the internal government of a colony, than a colonial assembly 
would have to impose a tax upon Middlesex. This union — an 
adamantine one, foreshadowed by the prescience of the late Sir 
Robert Peel, and urged onward to a speedy consummation by 
the rapid march of events which his hand so powerfully directed 
— must be frankly accepted with all its consequences ; and at the 
Cape — unless history is not philosophy teaching by examples — 
unless the earlier American frontier settlers were not men of like 
passions with ourselves— those consequences will be the extirpa- 
tion, or, at least, the banishment, the driving away of the 
coloured races from the colony of South Africa. And, indulging 
for once in prophecy, we venture to predict that, twenty years 
hence, the eastern frontier will not be the Kei, nor westward of 
that river. 

All this is very well understood — although, for certain reasons, 
not very plainly stated — by all persons who have looked with calm 
and thoughtful eyes at the struggle, the rough outline of which 
has been traced in the foregoing pages. ' The abolition of the old 
and cheap system of self-protection by the colonists,' exclaimed Sir 
W. Molesworth, addressing the assenting Commons, 'has been 
in a large degree the cause of the great increase of our South 

African military expenditure The commando system, 

abolished in 1833, worked well in protecting the lives and proper- 
ties of the frontier farmers. For this old, cheap, and effectual 
system, the colonial office has substituted the system of protecting 
the frontiers by treaties made with savages, and enforced by 
British troops.' Again : ' The boer classed the 'prowling and 
marauding savage with the beast of prey. ? No question that they 
did, and do ; and like beasts of prey will the prowling and 
marauding savages be hunted — it i3 vain to disgnise from 
ourselves — as soon as the colonists conduct and control their 
own wars, and the British army is withdrawn, as it will and 
ought to be, from South Africa. Mr Roebuck very frankly 
accepts this result of the legislative independence of the colony, 
and at the same time suggests consolatory considerations : ' If they 
gave power to the colonists of England to maintain their own 
dominions, they would exterminate the aborigines. He was 
merely stating a fact, over which they had no control : the black 
man would disappear before the white man. There was, however, 
a compensating circumstance. In peopling South Africa, the first 

30 



THE WAR IN CAFFRARIA. 

- might be painful ; there might be much cruelty, great 
unfairness and immorality, but the result would be the planting- in 
that country of a population far more moral, and more capable of 
happiness, spreading Christianity, civilisation, and science, over 
that great territory. Let the colonists be defended by the home 
government against outward aggression from Europe or elsewhere, 
but let them have the power of defending themselves from the 
population within.' This is plain-speaking, at all events, and true 
as it is distinct and outspoken. There is, perhaps, no popular 
delusion more gross, than that "which represents the British army 
in South Africa as employed in carrying out the ambitious views 
of the home government in opposition to the wishes and interests 
of the colonists themselves. The lives of the British soldiery 
been sacrificed ; millions of money, raised by the taxation of 
the British people, have been expended — we will not say squan- 
dered — to prevent the coloured race from being unjustly dealt 
with by the white; to substitute regular, responsible, 'honest 7 
war, to borrow the expression of a celebrated military historian, 
for private war and indiscriminate massacre. The emancipation 
of the Hottentots and negroes caused the emigration of the 
boers ; and we then made war upon the boers, to prevent them 
doing so upon the neighbouring blacks ! The colonists of South 
Africa do not require, have never required, the assistance of British 
troops to deal effectively with the savage tribes there, if permitted 
to manage the business in their own way. They did not, when 
there were only about 20,000 Dutch settlers in the colony ; and 
they will scarcely do so now, that the number of the whites there 
exceed 100,000, chiefly of British blood. How lamentable is it, 
then — how vivid a proof does it afford of the sad ignorance which 
pervades the public mind upon this subject, to hear a distinguished 
member of parliament rise in his place and say, with exultant 
veracity, that ' he heard a public assembly led by the teachers of 
religion, and standing in the presence of the Deity, pray that He 
would send defeat upon this country's arms, because they thought 
that this country's armies were employed in felony ! ' 

In sooth, there is not a brighter, more stainless chapter in the 
great annals of the British army, than that which records its toils, 
combats, sacrifices in South Africa ; and one passage, episodical to 
the fierce consuming struggle, reflects a glory which will shine with 
imdimmed splendour even in that, we fear, far-distant time when 
the sword, shall have ceased to be the last argument of kings and 
nations. We of course allude to the foundering of the Birkenhead, 
off Point Danger, in Simon's Bay, on the night of the 26th of 
February 1852, when 500 gallant men, young soldiers principally, 
' chiefly recruits ' drafted from various regiments, calmly accepted 
death for themselves, in order that the lives of the women and 
children with them might be saved. What bulletin of merely 
vulgar victory, penned by the conqueror of the proudest field that 
ever drank the blood of the children of men, has power to kindle 

31 



THE WAR IN CAFFRARIA. 

the ]iulse, or appeal with such a trumpet-call to the sympathy and 
admiration of mankind, as the simple narrative lines of Captain 
Wright of the 91st, himself saved, after the final catastrophe, by 
floating' to shore on a piece of the wreck ? •— ' Major Seaton [of the 
74th Highlanders] called all the officers about him, and impre 
on them the necessity of keeping order and silence amongst the 

men Every one did as he was directed, and there was 

not a murmur or a cry among- them until the vessel made her 
final plunge. I could not name any individual officer who did 
more than another. All received their orders, and had them 
carried out, as if the men were embarking instead of going- to the 
bottom : there was only this difference, that I never saw any 
embarkation conducted with so little noise or confusion.' At the 
last moment, the commander of the frig-ate, disdainful of his own 
life, called out to the soldiers, that if they would save theirs, they 
must jump overboard at once. ' We beg-g-ed them,' the narrative; 
goes on to say, ' not to do as the commander said, or the boats 
with the women and children would be swamped — three only 
attempted to do so — and they all, officers and men, went down 
tog-ether ! ' 

Not vainly did those gallant men calmly confront that silent, 
hideous Death, and look him sternly in the face, though only the 
silent stars were witnesses of the heroic sacrifice, which, not 
untimely, reassured the world that the conquests of civilisation 
— other than merely material ones — the prerogatives of g-enius, 
the sanctity of conscience, the sacred rig-ht of thought and 
speech, are still safe beneath the only g-uardianship remaining- 
to them in Europe — that of the Island-men, who can face death 
with tranquil resolution, in order that the women and the children 
may be saved. 




,.:^ ■ f .. ;< - .. S x? vV ;; '.;.,,;, ; 




THE TRIAL OF CHAKLES I. 



AVID HUME, in his narrative of the trial of 

Charles I., observes : ' The pomp, the dignity, 

the ceremony of this transaction corresponded 

to the greatest conception that is suggested in 

the annals of human kind;' and he describes 

the spectacle presented as that of 'the delegates 

of a great people sitting* in judgment upon their 

supreme magistrate, and trying him for his mis- 

<^y government and breach of trust.' The actual manner 

^ of the proceedings, however, is but indifferently reflected 

! in Hume's History ; and, indeed, the same remark applies 

to all the popular histories in the language. They necessarily 

represent the transaction in a summary and condensed form, 

stating only the general terms of the impeachment, the bearing 

and defence of the accused, and the sentence finally pronounced 

No. 42. l 




TRIAL OF CHARLES I. 

by the High Court of Justice. To obtain anything* like a clear 
and distinct notion of the court itself, and of the manner in 
which its memorable business was conducted, it is needful to 
consult the representations of contemporary writers. Various 
historical memorials might be referred to, as containing" a more or 
less authentic account of the solemnity ; but there is one in parti- 
cular, entitled England? & Black Tribunal, which professes to give 
a formal and express report of it, with all its attendant circum- 
stances. The substance of this report it is intended to reproduce 
in the present paper, abstracting* and compressing* only such 
portions as are unimportant, and so rendering- the form and spirit 
of the whole as to present a complete description and relation of 
this striking* and renowned proceeding. 

We shall assume that the reader is acquainted with the general 
history of the Civil Wars, and start with the fact, sufficiently well- 
known, that Charles, being* conquered by his parliament, was 
eventually brought to trial before an appointed national tribunal, 
called the High Court of Justice. The court consisted of upwards 
of 130 persons, specially nominated by the House of Commons ; 
though, according to some statements, there were not more than 
seventy that actually sat upon the trial. Among these were the 
chief officers of the army, including Cromwell, Harrison, and 
Ireton, some of the leading men of the House of Commons, and a 
number of London citizens. The president selected was John 
Bradshaw, a barrister, whom Milton describes as a man of such 
native dignity of character, that he appeared l like a consul, from 
whom the fasces are not to depart with the year ; so that not on 
the tribunal only, but throughout his life, you would regard him 
as sitting in judgment upon kings.' The other officers of the 
court were Mr Isaac Dorislaus and Mr Aske, the counsellors who 
drew up the charge and assisted in sustaining it; Mr Cook, or 
Coke, the solicitor-general for the Commonwealth ; Mr Broughton 
and Mr Phelps, clerks of the court ; Mr Dandy, serjeant-at-arms, 
as mace-bearer ; Colonel Humphreys, sword-bearer ; and a suitable 
number of tip-staffs and messengers. 

The proceedings opened on Saturday the 20th day of January 
1648-9, in the great hall at Westminster. The Lord President 
Bradshaw, with about seventy members of the court, preceded 
by Colonel Fox and sixteen other gentlemen with ' partizans/ 
Colonel Humphreys, bearing the sword of state, Serjeant 
Dandy with the mace, and a variety of other officers, went in 
order to the place prepared for the sitting, at the west end of the 
hall ; where the president took his seat in a crimson velvet chair 
prepared for him, having a desk with a crimson velvet cushion 
fixed before him ; the rest of the members taking their places on 
each side of the chair, on benches prepared and hung with scarlet 
for the purpose; and the partisans dividing themselves on the 
two sides of the court before them. 

The court being seated, and silence ordered, the great gate of 

2 



TRIAL OP CHARLES I. 

the hall was opened, to admit all persons without exception who 
might be desirous to see and hear ; and in a short time the whole 
space allotted for the purpose was filled up to the entrance. 
Silence being" again ordered, Colonel Tomlinson, who had charge 
of the king" as prisoner, was commanded to bring him into court ; 
and, accordingly, within a quarter of an hour, his majesty was 
brought in, under the escort of about twenty officers, with 
partisans marching before him, and Colonel Hacker and other 
gentlemen following in the rear. 

Being thus brought within the court, the serjeant-at-arms 
advanced with his mace, and conducted his majesty to the bar, 
where a crimson velvet chair was set for him. l After a stern 
looking upon the court, and the people in the g'alleries on each 
side of him,' the royal prisoner took his seat, ' not at all moving 
his hat, or otherwise shewing the least respect to the court ;' but 
presently rising up again, he turned about, looking downwards 
upon the guards placed on the left side, and on the multitude of 
spectators on the right side of the hall. The crier of the court 
meanwhile once more commanded silence, and this being imme- 
diately obtained, the act of parliament ' for the trying of Charles 
Stuart, king of England,' was ordered to be read. This done, the 
several names of the commissioners were called over, every one 
who was present rising up and answering to the call. The Black 
Tribunal contains no record of the circumstance, but it is elsewhere 
related, that when the name of Fairfax was called over, a voice 
among the spectators exclaimed : ' He has more wit than to be 
here ; and it was afterwards discovered, that the bold expression 
proceeded from no less a personage than Lady Fairfax, who, 
though she had long seconded her husband's zeal against the 
royal cause, was now filled with indignation and abhorrence at 
the unexpected consequences of the contest in which she had been 
so earnestly engaged. 

All preliminaries having been gone through in proper form and 
order, the Lord President, in the name or the court, addressed 
himself to the prisoner, acquainting him to the effect : that the 
Commons of England, assembled in parliament, being duly sensible 
of the calamities that had been brought upon the nation, and 
regarding him, the said Charles Stuart, as the principal authcr of 
them all, had ' resolved to make inquisition for blood ;' and accord- 
ing to that debt and duty which they owed l to justice, to God, the 
kingdom, and themselves,' and according, likewise, to the funda- 
mental power that rested in them as the representatives of the 
nation, they had resolved to bring him, Charles Stuart, to trial and 
judgment ; and for that express purpose they had constituted the 
present High Court of Justice, before which he had been brought, 
to hear the charge which was then and there to be preferred 
against him, and upon which the court would proceed to act 
according to the principles of justice. 

Thereupon the solicitor-general for the Commonwealth — [ stand- 



TRIAL OF CHARLES I. 

nig" within a bar on the right hand of the king- ' — prepared himself 
to speak, but was interrupted by his majesty, who, having* a staif 
in his hand, held it up, and laid it two or three times on Mr Cook's 
shoulder, bidding' him to hold. ' Nevertheless, the Lord President 
ordering- him to go on, Mr Cook did, by order of the court to him 
directed, in the name and on the behalf of the people of England, 
exhibit a charge of high treason and other crimes, and did there- 
with accuse the said Charles Stuart, king- of Eng-land, praying- it 
might be read ; which the king- interrupting*, the court notwith- 
standing* commanded the clerk to read it, acquainting* the prisoner 
that if he had anything* to say after, the court would hear him.' 

The accusation read was entitled, i A Charge of Hig-h Treason, 
and other High Crimes, exhibited to the High Court of Justice, by 
John Cook, Esq., appointed by the said Court, for and on behalf of 
the People of England, against Charles Stuart, King of Eng- 
land.' It stated and set forth : ' That he, the said Charles Stuart, 
being admitted king* of England, and therein trusted with a 
limited jDOwer to govern by and according to the laws of the land, 
and not otherwise ; and by his trust, oath, and office, being obliged 
[that is, under obligation] to use the power committed to him for 
the good and benefit of the people, and for the preservation of their 
rights and liberties ; yet, nevertheless, out of a wicked design to 
erect and uphold in himself an unlimited and tyrannical power, to 
rule according to his will, and to overthrow the rights and liberties 
of the people ; yea, to take away and make void the foundations 
thereof, and of all redress and remedy of misgovernment, which, 
by the fundamental constitutions of this kingdom, were reserved 
on the people's behalf, in the right and power of frequent and suc- 
cessive parliaments, or national meetings in council ; he, the said 
Charles Stuart, for accomplishment of such his designs, and for 
the protecting of himself and his adherents, in his and their wicked 
practices, to the same end, hath traitorously and maliciously levied 
war against the Parliament and the people therein represented.' 

Then follows a long enumeration of the specific acts of war and 
injury for which the said Charles Stuart was held accountable, 
and whereby he had ' caused and procured many thousands of the 
free people of the nation to be slain ;' and that from time to time, 
both within the land and by invasion from foreign parts, he had 
renewed and maintained the war against the Parliament and 
people, notwithstanding solemn treaties and engagements to ter- 
minate hostilities ; and that, as a consequence, l many families had 
been undone, the public treasury wasted and exhausted, trade 
obstructed and miserably decayed, vast expense and damage to the 
land incurred, and many parts of the land spoiled, some of them 

even to desolation All which wicked designs, wars, and 

evil practices of him, the said Charles Stuart, have been, and are 
carried on, for the advancing and upholding of a personal interest 
of will and power, and pretended prerogative to himself and his 
family,. against the public interest, common right, liberty, justice, 

4 



TRIAL OF CHARLES I. 



and peace of the people of this nation, by and for whom he was 
intrusted.' The charge concludes by pronouncing- the said Charles 
Stuart to be 'the occasioner, author, and contriver of the said 
unnatural, cruel, and bloody wars/ and declaring- him to be 
'therein guilty of all the treasons, murders, rapines, burning-s, 
spoils, desolations, damag-e, and mischiefs,' in the said wars acted 
or committed ; and it accordingly impeached ' the said Charles 
Stuart as a tyrant, traitor, murderer, and a public and implacable 
enemy to the Commonwealth of England ; ' and prayed that he 
might ' be put to answer all and every the premises,' that such 
proceedings, examinations, and judgment might be thereupon had 
and taken, as should be ' agreeable to justice.' 

His majesty, with his wonted patience, says our authority, 
' heard all these slanders and reproaches, sitting in his chair, and 
looking sometimes on the pretended court, sometimes up to the 
galleries, and rising ag*ain, turned about to behold the guards 
and spectators ; then he sat down with a majestic and unmoved 
countenance, and sometimes smiling*, especially at the words 
" tyrant," " traitor," and the like.' At this point, the silver head 
of his staff happened to fall off, occasioning his majesty some 
surprise ; and as no one was near him to take it up, he stooped to 
do so for himself. 

The charge being read, President Bradshaw addressed the 
prisoner in these terms ' Sir, you have now heard your charge 
read, containing such matters as appear in it. You find that, in 
the close of it, it is prayed to the court, in behalf of the Commons 
of England, that you answer to your charge : the court expects 
your answer.' 

To this his majesty replied : ' I would know by what power I 
am called hither. I was, not long- ago, in the Isle of Wight : 
how I came there, is a longer story than I think is fit at this time 
for me to speak of ; but there I entered into a treaty with both 
Houses of Parliament, with as much public faith as 'tis possible to 
be had of any people in the world. I treated there with a number 
of honourable lords and gentlemen, and treated honestly and 
uprightly. I cannot say but they did very nobly with me. We 
were upon a conclusion of the treaty [about to bring it to a close]. 
Now, I would know by what authority (I mean lawful : there 
are many unlawful authorities in the world — thieves and robbers 
by the highways ; but I would know by what authority) I was 
brought from thence, and carried from place to place, and I know 
not what ; and when I know by what lawful authority, I shall 
answer. Remember I am your king, your lawful king, and what 
sins you bring upon your heads, and the judgment of God upon 
this land. Think well upon it, I say — think well upon it, before 
you go further from one sin to a greater. Therefore let me know 
by what authority I am seated here, and I shall not be unwilling 
to answer. In the meantime, I shall not betray my trust. I 
have a trust committed to me by God, by old and lawful descent : 

5 



TRIAL OF CHARLES I. 

I will not betray it to answer to a new unlawful authority; 
therefore resolve me that, and you shall hear more of me.' 

Bradshaw. If you had been pleased to have observed what was 
hinted to you by the court at your first coming- hither, you would 
have known by what authority ; which authority requires you, in 
the name of the people of England, of which you are elected king*, 
to answer. 

King. No, sir ; I deny that [that England was an elective 
kingdom]. 

B. If you acknowledge not the authority of the court, they 
must proceed. 

K. I do tell them so. England was never an elective king- 
dom, but an hereditary kingdom for near these thousand years ; 
therefore let me know by what authority I am called hither. I 
do stand more for the liberty of my people than any here that come 
to be my pretended judges ; and therefore let me know by what 
lawful authority I am seated here, and I will answer it ; otherwise 
I will not answer it. 

B. Sir, how you have really managed your trust is known. 
Your way of answer is to interrogate the court, which beseems 
not you in this condition. You have been told of it twice or 
thrice. 

K. Here is a gentleman [pointing to Lieutenant - colonel 
Cobbet] ; ask him if he did not bring me from the Isle of Wight 
by force. I do not come here as submitting to the court. I will 
stand as much for the privilege of the House of Commons, rightly 
understood, as any man here whatsoever. I see no House of Lords 
here that may constitute a parliament, and the king, too, should 
have been. Is this the bringing the king to his parliament X Is 
this the bringing an end to the treaty in the public faith of the 
world? Let me see a legal authority warranted by the Word 
of God, the Scripture, or warranted by the constitution of the 
kingdom, and I will answer. 

The Lord President here observed, that inasmuch as the king 
declined to answer, the court would consider how to proceed, and 
that, in the meantime, his majesty was to be taken back in charge 
of those who had guard over him. * The court desires to know/ 
said he, * whether this be all the answer you will give or no X ' 

K. Sir, I desire you would give me, and all the world, satis- 
faction in this. Let me tell you, it is not a slight thing you are 
about. I am sworn to keep the peace, by that duty I owe to God 
and my country, and I will do it to the last breath of my body ; 
and therefore you shall do well to satisfy, first God, and then the 
country, by what authority you do it. If you do it by an usurped 
authority, that will not last long ; there is a God in heaven that 
will call you, and all that give you power, to account. Satisfy me 
in that, and I will answer ; otherwise I betray my trust, and the 
liberties of the people ; and therefore think of that, and then I 
shall be willing. For I do avow, that it is as great a sin to 

6 



TRIAL OF CHARLES T. 

withstand lawful authority, as it is to submit to a tyrannical or any 
other unlawful authority ; and therefore satisfy God and me, and 
all the world, in that, and you shall receive my answer: I am not 
afraid of the bill. 

Thus, it will be seen Ins majesty takes his stand upon the letter 
of legality ; not having, apparently, any notion of the abstract 
and essential rights and laws of government, anterior to use and 
wont. The Lord President explains to him, that the court expects 
a final answer ; but that, as he chooses to refuse one, it is their 
purpose to adjourn till Monday next ; adding", that they are per- 
fectly satisfied in regard to the l authority ' which the king* denies ; 
that ' it is upon God's authority and the kingdom's ;' and that as 
to the 'peace' about which his majesty expresses so much concern, 
they think it will best ' be kept in the doing* of justice;' ' and that/ 
Mid his lordship, ' is our present work.' So, after a little further 
altercation between his majesty and the president, the g-uard was 
commanded to take the prisoner away ; and thus the proceedings 
of the first day terminated. At his going down, his majesty 
pointed with his staff to the charge as it lay upon the table, and 
said he did not fear it ; and as he went down the stairs, the 
people in the hall, or some of them, cried : ' God save the ldng ! ' 
* notwithstanding,' says our royalist informant, 'some were set 
there by the faction to head the clamour for justice.' 

The next day being Sunday, Bradshaw, Cromwell, and the rest 
of the Commissioners, kept a solemn fast at Whitehall, and heard 
successively three sermons from approved and popular Puritan 
divines. First came Mr Sprigge, with his gloomy text : ' Whoso 
sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed : ' pretty 
sigmficantly intimating what the saints intended to do with 
Charles. Next followed Mr Foxley, with a milder verse, and one 
which might serve as much for one party as the other : ' Judge 
not, lest ye be judged.' And last came Mr Hugh Peters, with a 
text particularly acceptable to a puritanic congTegation, and of 
pointed application to the work in hand : ' I will bind their kings 
in chains, and their nobles in fetters of iron.' One hopes the 
Commissioners were edified ; but, as Carlyle observes, the reading 
faculty of the nineteenth century is quite incapable of appreciating 
the charm of such discourses. 

On Monday the 22d of January, the court sat again at West- 
minster. Silence being commanded upon pain of imprisonment, 
and the captain of the guard enjoined to apprehend all such as 
should make disturbance, the king was brought up to the bar, and 
the solicitor-general for the Commonwealth rose up to address the 
court. 

' My Lord President,' said he, ' I did at the last sitting of the 
court, in the behalf of the Commons of England, exhibit and give 
in a charge of high treason, and other crimes, against the prisoner 
at the bar, whereof I do accuse him in the name of the people of 
England. The charge was read to him, and his answer required ; 

7 



TRIAL OF CHARLES I. 

but instead of answering*, he did there dispute the authority of 
this court. My humble motion to this high court, in behalf oi' the 
people of England, is, that the prisoner may be directed to make a 
positive answer, either by way of confession or negation ; which 
if he shall refuse to do, that then the matter of charge may 
be taken pro co?ifcsso, and the court proceed according* to 
justice.' 

Thereupon the Lord President, in compliance with the motion, 
thus addressed the king : ' Sir, you may remember at the last 
court you were told the occasion of your being- brought hither, 
and you heard a charge against you, containing a charge of high 
treason, and other high crimes, against this realm of England. 
You heard, likewise, that it was prayed in behalf of the people that 
you should give an answer to that charge, that thereupon such 
j)roceedings might be had as should be agreeable to justice. You 
were then pleased to make some scruples concerning the authority 
of this court, and knew not by what authority you were brought 
hither. You did divers times propound your questions, and you 
were as often answered, that it was by authority of the Commons 
of England, assembled in parliament, that did think lit to call you 
to account for those high and capital misdemeanours wherewith 
you were then charged. Since that, the court hath taken into 
consideration what you then said. They are fully satisfied with 
their own authority, and they hold it fit you should stand satisfied 
with it too ; and they do require it, that you do give a positive and 
particular answer to this charge that is exhibited ag-ainst ycu. 
They do expect you should either confess or deny it : if you deny, 
it is offered, in the behalf of the nation, to be made good against 
you. Their authority they do avow to the whole world : that the 
whole kingdom are to rest satisfied in, and you are to rest satisfied 
with it ; and therefore you are to lose no more time, but to give a 
positive answer thereunto.' 

K. When I was here last, 'tis true, I made that question ; and 
truly, if it were only my own particular case, I should have satis- 
fied myself with the protestation I made the last time I was here 
against the legality of this court, and that a king cannot be tried 
by any superior jurisdiction on earth ; but it is not my case alone 
— it is the freedom and liberty of the people of England ; and do 
you pretend what you will, I stand more for their liberties. For 
if power without law may make laws, may alter the fundamental 
laws of the kingdom, I do not know what subject he is in England 
that can be sure of his life, or anything that he calls his own ; 
therefore, when that I came here, I did expect particular reasons, 
to know by what law, what authority, you did proceed against me 
here ; and therefore I am a little to seek what to say to you in this 
particular, because the affirmative is to be proved — the negative 
often is very hard to do ; but since I cannot persuade you to do 
it, I shall tell you my reasons as short as I can. My reasons 
why, in conscience, and- the duty I owe to God first, and my 

8 



TRIAL OF CHARLES I. 

people next, for the preservation of their lives, liberties, and 
estates, I conceive I cannot answer this till I be satisfied of the 
legality of it. All proceedings against any man whatsoever 

Here the Lord President interrupted his majesty, stating- that 
he would rather not have done so, but that the course the king* 
was taking- was ' not agreeable to the proceeding's of any court of 
justice.' What the court required was — not any further disputing 
of its authority, but a direct answer from the prisoner, whether he 
would answer to the charge or not, and what his answer was. 
His majesty objects to answer, and g-oes on again as follows : 

K. Sir, by your favour, though I do not know the forms of 
law, I do know law and reason ; though I am no lawyer professed, 
yet I know as much law as any gentleman in England; and 
therefore (under favour) I do plead for the liberties of the people 
of England inure than you do ; and therefore if I should impose a 
belief upon any man without reason given for it, it were unreason- 
able ; but I must tell you, that [using] that reason which I have, 
as thus informed, I cannot yield unto it. 

B. Sir, I must interrupt you. You speak of law and reason : 
it is lit there should be law and reason, and there is both against 
you. Sir, the vote of the Commons of England assembled in par- 
liament, it is the reason of the kingdom ; and they are these, too, 
that have given that law according to which you should have ruled 
and reigned. Sir, you are not to dispute our authority : you are 
told it again by the court. It will be taken notice of, that you 
stand in contempt of the court, and your contempt will be recorded 
accordingly. 

K. All men, let me tell you, may put in demurrers against any 

{)roceedings as legal ; and I do demand that, and demand to be 
ieard with my reasons : if you deny that, you deny reason. 
B. Sir, neither you nor any man are permitted to dispute that 

?oint You may not demur the jurisdiction of the court, 
f you do, I must let you know that they overrule your demurrer. 
They sit here by the authority of the Commons of England ; and 
all your predecessors and you are responsible to them 

K. I deny that ; shew me one precedent. 

B. Sir, you ought not to interrupt while the court is speaking 
to you. This point is not to be debated by you ; neither will the 
court permit you to do it. If you offer it by way of demurrer to 
the jurisdiction of the court [you are to be answered that], they 
have considered of their jurisdiction — they do affirm their own 
jurisdiction. 

A". I say, sir, by your favour, that the Commons of England 
was never a court of judicature. I would know how they came 
to be so. 

B. You are not to be permitted to go on in that speech and 
these discourses. 

The clerk of the court then formally read the charge, and 
demanded of the king* his answer. His majesty replied by saying : 
No. 42. '9 



TRIAL OF CHARLES I. 

'I will answer the same as soon as I know by what authority 
you do this.' 

B. If this be all that you will say, then, gentlemen, you that 
brought the prisoner hither, take charge of him back again. 

K. I do require that I may give in my reasons why I don't 
answer ; and that you give me time for that. 

B. Sir, 'tis not for prisoners to require. 

K. Prisoners, sir ! I am not an ordinary prisoner. 

B. The court hath considered of their jurisdiction, and they 
have already affirmed their jurisdiction : if you will not answer, 
we shall give order to record your default. 

K. You never heard my reasons yet. 

B. Sir, your reasons are not to be heard against the highest 
jurisdiction. 

K. Shew me that jurisdiction where reason is not to be heard. 

B. Sir, we shew it you here* — the Commons of England; and 
the next time you are brought, you will know more of the pleasure 
of the court, and, it may be, their final determination. 

K. Shew me wherever the House of Commons was a court of 
judicature of that kind. 

B. Serjeant, take the prisoner away. 

K. Well, sir, remember that the king* is not suffered to give 
his reasons for the liberty and freedom 01 his subjects. 

B. Sir, you are not to have liberty to use this language. How 
great a friend you have been to the laws and liberties of the people, 
let all England and the world judge. 

K. Sir, under favour, it was the liberty, freedom, and laws of 
the subject that ever I took — defended myself with arms : I never 
took up arms against the people but for the laws. 

B. The command of the court must be obeyed. No answer 
will be given to the charge. 

K. Well, sir. 

The Lord President ordered the default to be recorded, and the 
contempt of the court, and that no answer would be given to the 
charge; and the king being guarded forth to the house of Sir 
Robert Cotton, the court rose, and adjourned until Tuesday at 
twelve o'clock. 

The i reasons' which his majesty was so anxious to deliver 
against the jurisdiction of the court are reported to have been left 
by him in writing, for the ' more impartial judgment of posterity.' 
As they supply us with such defence and vindication as he may 
be supposed to have deemed sufficient, and as, under that view, 
they form an important element in the trial, it will be proper to 
insert them here. Whether his majesty actually wrote them, we 
cannot pretend to say, but there is little doubt that they express 

* This was an unhappy expression of Bradshaws, which has since subjected him 
to no little abuse and ridicule. He seems to say, that the Commons of England 
would not hear reason / but it is plain enough he meant only that their authority 
was supreme in the nation, and did not admit of any logical disputing. 
10 



TRIAL OF CHARLES I. 

Ma sentiments. They run, in the report from which we copy 
them, as follows : — 

' Having- made my protestations, not only against the illegality 
of this pretended court, but also that no eartluy power can justly 
call Trie (who am your king) in question as a delinquent ; I would 
not any more open my mouth upon this occasion, more than to 
refer myself to what I have spoken,, were I in this case alone 
concerned. But the duty I owe to God, in the preservation of the 
liberty of my people, will not suffer me at this time to be silent. 
For how can any freeborn subject of England call life, or anything" 
he possesseth, his own, if power without right daily make new, 
and abrogate the old fundamental law of the land 1 which I now 
take to be the present case. Wherefore, when I came hither, I 
expected that you would have endeavoured to have satisfied me 
concerning' these grounds, which hinder me to answer to your 
pretended impeachment ; but since I see that nothing I can say 
will move you to it (though negatives are not so naturally proved 
as affirmatives), yet I will shew you the reason why I am confident 
you cannot judg-e me, nor indeed the meanest man in England ; 
for I will not (like you), without shewing a reason, seek to impose 
a belief upon my subjects. 

1 There is no proceeding just against any man* but what is 
warranted either by God's laws, or the municipal laws of the 
country where he lives. Now I am most confident this day's 
proceeding cannot be warranted by God's law ; for, on the con- 
trary, the authority and obedience unto kings is clearly warranted 
and strictly commanded both in the Old and New Testament; 
which, if denied, I am ready instantly to prove. 

' And for the question now in hand, there it is said : That where 
the word of a king is, there is poicer ; and who may say unto 
him, What doest thou ? (Eccl. viii. 4). Then for the law of this 
land, I am no less confident that no learned lawyer will affirm, 
that an impeachment can lie against the king, they all going in his 
name. And one of their maxims is, That the king can do no wrong. 
Besides, the law upon which you ground your proceedings must 
either be old or new : if old, shew it ; if new, tell what authority, 
warranted by the fundamental laws of the land, hath made it, and 
when. But how the House of Commons can erect a Court of 
Judicature, which was never one itself (as is well known to all 
lawyers), I leave to God and the world to judge. And it were 
full as strange that they should pretend to make laws without 
king or Lords' House, to any that have heard speak of the laws of 
England. 

* And admitting, but not granting, that the people of England's 
commission could grant your pretended power, I see nothing you 
can shew for that, for certainly you never asked the question of the 
tenth man in the kingdom ; and in this way you manifestly wrong 

* c Hereabout,' says his majesty in a note, < I was stopped, and not suffered to 
speak any more concerning reasons.' 

H 



TRIAL OP CHARLES I. 

even the poorest ploughman, if you demand not his free consent. 
Nor can you pretend any colour for this your pretended commission, 
without the consent at least of the major part of every man in 
England, of whatsoever quality or condition ; which I am sure 
you never went about to seek, so far are you from having- it. Thus 
you see that I speak not for my own right alone, as I am your 
king', but also for the true liberty of my subjects ; which consists 
not in the power of government, but in living under such laws, 
such a government, as may give themselves the best assurance of 
their lives, and property of their goods. Nor in this must or do I 
forget the privileges of both Houses of Parliament, which this 
day's proceedings do not only violate, but likewise occasion, the 
greatest breach of their public faith that (I believe) ever was 
heard of, with which [however] I am far from charging the 
two Houses. For all the pretended crimes laid against me bear 
date long before this late treaty at Newport, in which I having 
concluded, as much as in me lay, and hopefully expecting the 
Houses' agreement thereunto, I was suddenly surprised, and 
hurried from thence as a prisoner, upon which account I am, 
against my will, brought hither ; where, since I am come, I can- 
not but, to my power, defend the ancient laws and liberties of this 
kingdom, together with my own just right. Then, for anything 
I can see, the higher House is totally excluded ; and for the House 
of Commons, it is too well known that the major part of them are 
detained or deterred from sitting,* so as, if I had no other, this 
were sufficient for me to protest against the lawfulness of your 
pretended court. Besides all this, the peace of the kingdom is not 
the least of my thoughts ; and what hope of settlement is there, 
fco long as power reigns without rule or law, changing the whole 
frame of that government under which this kingdom hath 
flourished for many hundred years? (Nor will I say what will 
fall out, in case this lawless, unjust proceeding against me do go on.) 
And, believe it, the Commons of England will not thank you for 
this change, for they will remember how happy they have been of 
late years under the reign of Queen Elizabeth, the king my father, 
and myself, until the beginning of these unhappy troubles, and 
will have cause to doubt that they shall never be so happy under 
any new. And by this time it will be too sensibly evident, that 
the arms I took up were only to defend the fundamental laws of 
this kingdom against those who have supposed my power hath 
totally changed the ancient government. 

'Thus having shewed you briefly the reasons why I cannot 
submit to your pi'etended authority, without violating the trust 
which I have from God for the welfare and libert} 7, of my people, 
I expect from you either clear reasons to convince my judgment, 
shewing me that I am in an error (and then truly I will answer), 
Or that you will withdraw your proceedings. 

* Referring of course to Colonel Pride's Purge. 
12 



TRIAL OF CHARLES I. 

1 This/ says his majesty, ' I intended to speak in Westminster 
Hall, on Monday, January 2'2, but, against reason, was hindered 
to shew my reasons.' It will be seen that his majesty, like all 
Royalists, and most of their apologists, conceives the civil wars to 
have originated in sheer delusion — in fanatical opposition to a just 
and equitable administration ; and that he has no idea of a latent 
power in the people superior to the kingly one, nor any sense of 
the responsibility which attaches to misgovernment. He stands 
solely on prerogative, and seems to regard the kingdom as a 
personal inheritance, of which he has been unjustly and violently 
dispossessed. His Puritan impeachers profess to stand upon the 
inherent rights of man, to which the rights of kings and rulers are 
quite secondary and subordinate; he and they have no one prin- 
ciple or standard of obligation and morality in common; and, 
accordingly, between them there can be neither understanding nor 
agreement. 

Let us, however, pass on to the third day's proceedings. At the 
sitting of the court on Tuesday, the 23d January, there were 
seventy-three members present. The king, as before, comes in 
with his guard, ' looks with an austere countenance upon the 
court, and sits down.' 

The Solicitor-general then rises and observes, that it is now the 
third time that the prisoner has been brought to the bar without 
any issue being as yet joined in the cause. ' My lord,' says he, ' I 
did at the first court exhibit a charge against him, containing the 
highest treason that ever was wrought upon the theatre of Eng- 
land; that a king- of England, trusted to keep the law, that had 
taken an oath so to do, that had a tribute paid him for that end, 
should be guilty of a wicked design to subvert and destroy our 
laws, and introduce an arbitrary and tyrannical government ; in 
the defiance of the parliament and their authority, set up his 
standard for war against his parliament and people; and I did 
humbly pray, in the behalf of the people of England, that he might 
speedily be required to make an answer to the charge.' He goes 
on to say, that instead of answering, the prisoner did on that 
occasion dispute the authority of the court ; that delay", in con- 
sequence, had been given him to consider and put in his answer ; 
and that, on being required at the last sitting- to give a direct and 
positive answer, either by denial or confession, he had demurred 
to the jurisdiction of the court; which demurrer the court had 
overruled, and thereupon commanded the prisoner to give a direct 
answer. ' I shall now,' said he, ' humbly move your lordship for 
speedy judgment against him.' He might press the motion on 
the ground that the prisoner stands as ' contumacious in contempt,' 
not having put in an issuable plea, guilty or not guilty ; but he 
rests it rather on the fact, that the House of Commons, the 
supreme authority and jurisdiction of the kingdom, have declared, 
1 that it is notorious that the matter of the charge is true.'' ' My 
lord,' says he, 'it is, in truth, as clear as crystal, and as the 

13 



TRIAL OF CHARLES I. 



sun that shines at noonday; which, if your lordshin and tb» 
court be not satisfied in, I ha've, on behalf of the peopfe of E™ 

h t ' CteLrST, t0 *&•*' The «7 ° f theScent blold" 

tnat iia & been shed, he adds, is very o-reat for justice • < -mrl 

K^'T^fV 1 ^ humU y P-7 that speidy fudgment 
oe pronounced against the prisoner at the bar ' 

as follows !- Pre3Ment Bradsllaw > U P°° ^ addressed the king 

„f '^i r 'i™ U ? aye heard what is moved b 7 ^e counsel in behalf 
of the kingdom against you. You may well remeiXr-and f 
you do not, the court cannot target- what dilniw ,w i 
court hath found at your hands. You were Ssed to lil 8 ! ^ 
some questions; yo/have had our r<Lluti ns upon" he'm P You 

StoT^rS ?*t 'J™' the C ° Urt di- affirm their own 
uiiiscuction , tfiat it was not for you, nor anv other m™ /„ 

dispute the jurisdiction of the supreme' and hhLs autSv „? 
Eng- and, from which there is no appeal, and toudmt which there 
must be no dispute; yet you did persist in such ca?rk., e as von 
gave no manner of obedience, nor did you acknowledge anv 
oTS "s*?' "I' ?? ^ C ° Urt taat'constituted thifco^ 

ve™ sensible of tZf *\ ^ *?"" fr ° m l he C0Urt > that they are 
very sensible ot these delays of yours, and that thev outfit not 

fc 4 ,*, authonsed by the Supreme Court of England to be 
thus trifled withal ; and that they might in justice, if fhtv nleased 
and according to the rules of justice, tad advanta^of' these 
delays and proceed to pronounce judgment a-ainst vo„ • v!f 
Sfr'T' the ? W Pleased t0 ^.hrectiof and J on'tLt 

^t cwthat q 7 e / 0U ', tIiaty0U a make a , P° siti;c " ™£ 
tm» cnarge that is against you. Sir, in plain terms— for justice 

knows no respect of persons-you are to give vour positive and 

of tl^T er m t! ?" glish > whether y°» °e g5% « ™t gu»y 
ot these treasons laid to your charge.' 8 ' 

The king-, after a little pause, s£d' : < When I was here vector 
day I did desire to speak for the hberties of the people of England 
Lily o"!i e o™ Pted: ' **■ * W ** ^e^-I may^ak' 

qufs'tio S n r 'the° U l^ ^ th ! resolution of fwconrt upon the like 
Senf 1 1? I 7 J and 3 ' 0U Were toId > that having such a 
ouS to ack-S a na '" re . against you, your work was, that you 
to voui^W, ^ -? e J unsdlctloa ^ the court, and'to answer 
cou?t ^V»« f " i lr ' lf y0U a ? swev t0 > T ° ur charge-which the 
tTadf anil nf 6 ""Z t0 d °' th ° U " h the y ■*&* have taken 
vour char!, 8 »l y ° Ur fa™!*-?* if }™ he able to answer to 
lar"e S5 tl*, TA*™ ° nCe an9were d, you shall be heard at 

knfwl™ , rt. f def ?^ e y0U can - But > «» J mus t let you 

know from the court, as their commands, that you are not to be 

Cw ' SSUe ° Ut int ° any ° ther discoursesf till such time as 
charged lupfnyou. P ^ """" concemin g ** matter that is 



TRIAL OF CHARLES I. 

K. For the charge, I value it not a rush ; it is the liberty of the 
people of England that I stand for. For me to acknowledge a 
new court that I never heard of before — I that am your king-, that 
should be an example to all the people of England, to uphold 
justice, to maintain the old laws — indeed, I do not know how to 
do it. You spoke very well the first day that I came here (oh 
Saturday) of the obligations that I had laid upon me by God, to 
the maintenance of the liberties of my people. The same obligation 
you spake of, I do acknowledge to God that I owe to Him and to 
my people, to defend, as much as in me lies, the ancient laws of 
the kingdom ; therefore, until I may know that this is not against 
the fundamental laws of the kingdom, by your favour, I can put 
in no particular answer. If you will give me time, I will then 
shew you my reasons why I cannot do it ; and this 

Here, bein<r interrupted, he said : 

1 By your favour, you ought not to interrupt me. How I came 
here I know not ; there 's no law to make your king your prisoner. 
I was lately in a treaty upon the public faith of the kingdom ; that 
was, the known — the two Houses of Parliament, that was the 
representative of the kingdom ; and when I had almost made an 
end of the treaty, then I was hurried away and brought hither ; and 
therefore' 

B. Sir, you must know the pleasure of the court. 

K. By your favour, sir 

B. Nay, sir, by your favour, you may not be permitted to fall 
into these discourses : you appear as a delinquent ; you have not 
acknowledged the authority of the court : the court craves it not 
of you ; and, once more, they command you to give your positive 
answer. Clerk, do your duty. 

K. Duty, sir ! 

The clerk accordingly reads : ' Charles Stuart, king of 
England, you are accused in the behalf of the Commons of 
England of divers high crimes and treasons ; which charge hath 
been read unto you. The court now requires you to give your 
positive and final answer, by way of confession or denial of the 
charge.' 

K. Sir, I say again unto you, so that I might give satisfaction 
to the people of England of the clearness of my proceedings — not 
by way of answer, not in this way — but to satisfy them that I 
have done nothing against that trust that hath been committed to 
me, I would do it ; but to acknowledge a new court against their 
privileges — to alter the fundamental laws of the kingdom, sir — 
you must excuse me. 

B. Sir, this is the third time that you have publicly disowned 
the court, and put an affront upon it. How far you have preserved 
the privileges of the people, your actions have spoken ; but truly, 
sir, men's intentions ought to be known by their actions; you 
have written your meaning in bloody characters throughout the 
whole kingdom. But, sir, you understand the pleasure of the 

15 



TRIAL OF CHARLES I. 

court. Clerk, record the default. And, gentlemen, you that took 
charge of the prisoner, take him back again. 

K. I will only say this one word to you — if it were only my 
own particular, I would not say any more, nor interrupt you. 

B. Sir, you have heard the pleasure of the court ; and you are 
(notwithstanding you will not understand it) to find that you are 
before a court of justice. 

The king then w r ent forth under guard, and proclamation was 
made, that all persons present who had further to do with the 
court, might depart into the Painted Chamber ; whither the court 
forthwith adjourned, intending to meet again in Westminster Hall 
at ten o'clock next morning. 

Accordingly, on Wednesday, January 24, it was expected that 
the court would sit, as on the day before proclaimed ; but at the 
time appointed an usher appeared, and gave notice to the people 
assembled, that the court — then sitting in the Painted Chamber — 
was engaged in taking into consideration how the witnesses should 
be examined, in relation to present affairs, and therefore they could 
not yet resume their sittings in the hall, but that all persons 
appointed to be there were to appear upon further summons. It 
would appear that the whole of Wednesday was occupied in the 
private examination of witnesses ; some thirty-three of whom 
deposed on oath, that they had severally * seen his majesty at the 
head of his army, with his sword drawn, and actually in several 
battles ; and that he levied forces and gave commissions ; ' and 
so forth, as stated in the charge against him. Most of these 
witnesses were soldiers, and had borne arms on the side of the 
Parliament. They were brought up from several different coun- 
ties; some of them being described as belonging to the class of 
tradesmen, a few as labourers, and the rest as ' gentlemen.' On 
Thursday they were sworn in open court, in the Painted Chamber, 
and their depositions taken upon the whole matter. The court 
then passed the following resolutions : — 

'That this court will proceed to sentence of condemnation against 
Charles Stuart, king of England. 

' That the condemnation of the king shall be for a tyrant, 
traytor, and murthcrer. 

1 That the condemnation of the king' shall be likewise for being 
a, public enemy to the Commonwealth of England. 

' That this condemnation shall extend to death.' 

On Friday, January 26, the court, still sitting in the Painted 
Chamber, was engaged in considering the draught of a sentence 
against the king ; and after several readings, debates, and amend- 
ments, it was resolved : — 

' That this court do agree to the sentence now read. 

1 That the said sentence shall be engrossed. 

c That the king be brought to Westminster Hall to-morrow to 
receive his sentence.' 

We come now to the culmination of proceedings. On Saturday 

16 



TRIAL OF CHARLES I. 

the 27th, the High Court sat for the fourth time in Westminster 
Hall, there being* present sixty-seven members, whose names are 
all preserved in the Black Tribunal, but need not be here repeated. 
The Lord President Bradshaw took the chair in his scarlet robes — 
a colour which our anonymous reporter thinks was particularly 
suitable to the day's work. ' As the king came into the court, in 
his usual posture with his hat on, a cry was made in the hall by 
some of the soldiers for justice ! justice ! and execution. 1 When 
silence had been commanded, his majesty began : — 

K. I desire a word to be heard a little, and I hope I shall give 
no occasion of interruption 

H. You may answer in your time : hear the court first. 

A'. If it please you, sir, I desire to be heard, and I shall not 
give any occasion of interruption ; and it is only a word : a sudden 
judgment 

B. Sir, you shall be heard in due time ; but you are to hear the 
court first. 

K. Sir, I desire it; it will be in order to what I believe the 
court will say ; and therefore, sir, a hasty judgment is not so soon 
recalled 

B. Sir, you shall be heard before the judgment be given, and in 
the meantime you may forbear. 

K. Well, sir, shall I be heard before the judgment be given 1 

B. [Addressing the court and the people present.] Gentlemen, 
it is well known to all or most of you here present, that the 
prisoner at the b;ir hath been several times convented and brought 
before the court, to make answer to a charge of treason and other 
high crimes, exhibited against him, in the name of the people of 

England [Here an honourable lady interrupted the court, 

saying : ' Not half the people,' or, as some report : ' Not a tenth 
part of them;' and it is said that, on investigation being made 
as to who was the disturber, the speaker was discovered, as on the 
former day, to be the Lady Fairfax. She was instantly silenced, 
however, and the president went on:] — To which charge, continued 
he, being required to answer, he hath been so far from obeying 
the commands of the court, by submitting to their justice, as he 
began to take upon him to offer reasoning and debate upon the 
authority of the court, and of the highest court that constituted 
them to try and judge him ; but being overruled in that, and 
required to make his answer, he was still pleased to continue con- 
tumacious, and to refuse to submit or answer. Hereupon the 
court, that they may not be wanting to themselves, nor the trust 
reposed in them, nor that any man's wilfulness prevent justice, 
they have thought fit to take the matter into consideration ; they 
have consulted of the charge ; they have considered of the con- 
tumacy, and of that confession which in law doth arise upon that 
contumacy ; they have likewise considered of the notoriety of 
the fact charged upon the prisoner ; and upon the whole matter, 
they are resolved, and have agreed upon a sentence to be now 

17 



TRIAL OF CHARLES I. 

pronounced against this prisoner ; but in respect he doth desire to 
be heard before the sentence be read and pronounced, the court hath 
resolved that they will hear him. Yet, sir [turning to the yri- 
soner]j thus much I must tell you beforehand, which you must 
have been minded of at other courts, that if that you have to 
say be to offer any debate concerning- jurisdiction, you are not 
to be heard in it. You have offered it formerly, and you have 
indeed struck at the root — that is, the power and supreme autho- 
rity of the Commons of England, which this court will not admit 
a debate of, and which, indeed, is an irrational thing- in them to 
do, being a court that acts upon authority derived from them. 
But, sir, if you have anything to say in defence of yourself con- 
cerning the matters charged, the court hath given me command to 
let you know they will hear you. 

K. Since I see that you will not hear anything of debate con- 
cerning that which I confess I thought most material for the peace 
of the kingdom, and for the liberty of the subject, I shall waive it ; 
I shall speak nothing to it; but only I must tell you, that this 
many a day all things have been taken away from me, but that 
which I call more dear to me than my life — which is my conscience 
and my honour ; and if I had respect to my life, more than the 
peace of the kingdom, and the liberty of the subject, certainly I 
should have made a particular defence for myself ; for by that at 
leastwise I might have delayed an ugly sentence which I believe 
will pass upon me. Therefore certainly, sir, as a man that hath 
some understanding, some knowledge of the world, if that my 
true zeal to my country had not overborne the care that I have of 
my own preservation, I should have gone another way to work 
than that I have done. Now, sir, I conceive that a hasty sentence 
once past, may be sooner repented than recalled ; and truly the 
selfsame desire that I have for the peace of the kingdom, and the 
liberty of the subject, more than my own particular ends, makes 
me now at last desire, that I have something to say that concerns 
both, before sentence be given, that I may be heard in the Painted 
Chamber before the Lords and Commons. This delay cannot be 
prejudicial to you, whatsoever I say. If that I say no reason, 
those that hear me must be judges. If it be reason, and really 
for the welfare of the kingdom, and the liberty of the subject, I 
am sure on it, it is very well worth the hearing : therefore I do 
conjure you, as you love that you pretend — I hope it is real — the 
liberty of the subject, the peace of the kingdom ; that you will 
grant me the hearing before any sentence be passed. I only desire 
this, that you will take this into your consideration — it may be 
you have not heard of it beforehand. If you will, I '11 retire, and 
you may think of it : but if I cannot get this liberty, I do here 
protest, that these fair shows of liberty and peace are pure shows, 
and that you will not hear your king. 

B. Sir, you have now spoken. 

K. Yes, sir. 

18 



TRIAL OF CHARLES I. 

B. And this that you have said is a further declining' of the 
jurisdiction of this court, which was the thing wherein you were 
limited before 

K. Pray excuse me, sir, for my interruption, because you 
mistake me. It is not a declining 1 of it : you do judge me before 
you hear me speak. 

B. Sir, this is not altogether new that you have moved to us, 
though the first time in person you have offered it to the court. 
You say you do not decline the jurisdiction of the court ? 

K. Not in this that I have said. 

B. I understand you well, sir; but, nevertheless, that which 
you have offered seems to be contrary to that saying of yours ; for 
the court are ready to give a sentence. It is not as you say : 
that they will not hear their king ; for they have been ready to 
hear you — they have patiently waited your pleasure for three 
courts together, to hear what you would say to the people's charge 
against you ; to which you have not vouchsafed to give any 
answer at all. Sir, this tends to a further delay. Truly, sir, such 
delays as these neither may the kingdom nor justice well bear : 
you have had three several days to have offered in this kind what 
you would have pleased. This court is founded upon the authority 
of the Commons of England, in whom rests the supreme jurisdic- 
tion : that which you now tender is to have another jurisdiction, 
and a co-ordinate jurisdiction. I know very well you express 
yourself that, notwithstanding what you would offer to the Lords 
and Commons in the Painted Chamber, you would, nevertheless, 
proceed on here. I did hear you say so ; but, sir, that [which] 
you would offer there, whatever it is, must needs be in delay of 
justice here ; so as if this court be resolved and prepared for the 
sentence, this that you offer they are not bound in justice to grant ; 
but, sir, according to what you seem to desire, and because you 
shall know the further pleasure of the court upon that which you 
have moved, the court will withdraw for a time. 

The court withdraws, accordingly, for half an hour into the 
Court of Wards, and shortly sends commands to the serjeant-at- 
arms to have the prisoner withdrawn until they order his return. 
When the members of the court come back, the prisoner is recalled, 
and the Lord President thus proceeds : ' Sir, you were pleased to 
make a motion here to the court, to offer a desire of yours touch- 
ing the propounding of somewhat to the Lords in the Painted 
Chamber for the peace of the kingdom. Sir, you did in effect 
receive an answer before the court adjourned. Truly, sir, their 
withdrawing and adjournment was pro formd tantum [for form's 
sake only], for it did not seem to them that there was any difficulty 
in the thing. They have [however] considered of what you have 
moved, ana" have considered of their own authority, which is 
founded, as hath been often said, upon the supreme authority of 
the Commons of England assembled in parliament. The court 
acts according to their commission, sir. The return I have to you 

19 



TRIAL OF CHARLES I. 

from the court is this : that they have been too much delayed by 
you already ; and this that you now offer hath occasioned some 
little further delay ; and they are judges appointed by the highest 
authority ; and judges are no more to delay than they are to deny 
justice.' On all which considerations, he concludes by saying-, the 
court are 'resolved to proceed to sentence and judgment,' and that 
such is their unanimous resolution. 

' Sir,' returned the king, ' I know it is in vain for me to dispute. 
I am no sceptic to deny the power that you have ; 1 know that 
you have power enough. But, sir, I think it would have been for 
the kingdom's peace, if you would have taken the pains to have 
shewn the lawfulness of your power. For this delay that I have 
desired, I confess it is a delay very important for the peace of the 
kingdom ; for it is not my person that I look on alone — it is the 
kingdom's welfare and the kingdom's peace. It is an old sentence, 
that we should think on long before we have resolved of great 
matters suddenly ; therefore, sir, I do put at your doors all the 
inconveniency of a hasty sentence. I confess I have been here 
now, I think, this week— this day eight days was the day I came 
here first; but a little delay of a day or two further may give 
peace; whereas a hasty judgment may bring on that trouble and 
perpetual inconveniency to the kingdom, that the child that is 
unborn may repent it ; and therefore, ag'ain, out of the duty I owe 
to God and to my country, do desire that I may be heard by the 
Lords and Commons in the Painted Chamber, or any other 
chamber that you will appoint me.' 

B. You have been already answered to what you have even 
now moved, being the same you moved before, since the resolution 
and the judgment of the court in it ; and the court now requires 
to know, whether you have any more to say for yourself than you 
have said, before they proceed to sentence. 

K. I say this, sir, that if you hear me — if you will give me 
but this delay — I doubt not but I shall give some satisfaction to 
you all here, and to my people after that; and therefore I do 
require you, as you will answer it at the dreadful day of judgment, 
that you will consider it once again.'* 

To this entreaty the president replied, that he had received 
instructions from the court to proceed to sentence. He then 
went on, says our reporter, in a long harangue, endeavouring 
to justify the court's proceedings, ' misapplying law and history, 
and raking up and wresting whatsoever he thought lit for his 
purpose, alleging the examples of former treasons and rebellions, 
both at home and abroad, as authentic proofs ; and concluding 
that the king was a tyrant, tra/jtor, murthcrer, and public enemy 
to the Commonwealth of England.' In other words, the Lord 

* Hume and others have supposed that the king, had he been admitted to the 
desired interview with the Lords and Commons, intended formally to abdicate the 
crown in favour of his son ; but there appears to be no reliable authority for the 
supposition. 
20 



TRIAL OF CHARLES I. 

President did exactly what it is the habit of judges to do in 
oilier criminal cases: he went over the evidence brought before 
him, commented upon it according to his own impressions, and 
pronounced such a decision in regard to it as seemed accordant 
with his sense of right and justice. Whether the proceedings of 
the regicides are to be approved or condemned, there seems to be 
no reason for believing that they acted otherwise than under the 
sternest convictions that they were acting justly. It would 
naturally appear to them, that if a rebel against kingly authority 
could, under any circumstances, be rightly put to death, it was 
equally right, and not the less expedient, that a rebel and declared 
enemy of the Commonwealth — such as they esteemed the king 
to be — should be judged by the hke process, and disposed of by 
infliction of the like penalty. 

As sentence was about to be delivered, his majesty expressed a 
v» i.-h to say a word or two concerning the heavy imputations on 
which the president had rather earnestly insisted; but the latter, 
reminding him that he had disavowed the court, declared that it was 
then too late to hear anything- of the kind proposed. ' Sir/ said 
he, 'we have given you too much liberty already, and admitted of 
too much delay, and we may not admit of any further. Were it 
proper for us to do [so], we should hear you freely, and we should 
not have declined to have heard you at large what you could 
have said or proved on your behalf, whether for totally excusing, 
or for in part excusing' those great and heinous charges that, in 
whole or in part, are laid upon you. But, sir, I shall trouble you 
no longer : your sins are of so large a dimension, that if you do 
but seriously think of them, they will drive you to a sad conside- 
ration — they may improve in you a sad and serious repentance ; 
and that the court doth heartily wish that you may be so penitent 
for what you have done amiss, that God may have mercy, at least- 
wise, upon your better part. Truly, sir, for the other, it is our 

parts and duties to do that which the law prescribes 

What sentence the law affirms to a traitor, tyrant, murderer, and 
public enemy to the country, that sentence you are now to hear 
read to you, and that is the sentence of the court.' 

Silence was then formally commanded while the sentence should 
be read ; and this being obtained, the clerk, Mr Broughton, read 
from an engrossed parchment to this effect : — 

That the Commons of England in Parliament had appointed 
the present High Court of Justice for the trying of Charles 
Stuart, king of England; that the said Charles Stuart had 
accordingly been ' three times convented/ and at the first time a 
charge of high treason, and other crimes and misdemeanours, was 
read in behalf of the kingdom ; that on the reading of such charge 
the said Charles Stuart was required to give his answer, but had 
refused to do so ; that, nevertheless, the treasons and crimes afore- 
said being notoriously undeniable, ' this court doth adjudge that 
the said Charles Stuart, as a tyrant, traytor, murtherer, and a 

21 



TRIAL OF CHARLES I. 

Eublic enemy, shall be put to death, by the severing of his head 
rom his body.' 

This, therefore, was the sentence, which being- read, Bradshaw 
added : ' The sentence now read and published is the act, sentence, 
judgment, and resolution of the whole court.' And here the 
court stood up, and assented to what the president affirmed. 

K. Will you hear me a word, sir ? 

B. Sir, you are not to be heard after the sentence. 

K. No, sir ! 

B. No, sir ; by your favour, sir. Guard, withdraw your prisoner. 

K. I may speak after the sentence, by your favour, sir ; I may 
speak after the sentence ever. By your favour hold ; the sentence, 

sir I say, sir, I do I am not suffered to speak — expect 

what justice the people will have ! 

Here the voice of the crier rose, proclaiming" : ' Oyez ! All 
manner of persons that have anything* else to do are to depart at 
this time, and to give their attendance in the Painted Chamber, 
to which place this court doth forthwith adjourn itself. God 
bless the kingdom of England ! ' 

On being seated in the Painted Chamber, the court appointed a 
committee, consisting of Sir Hardress Waller, Colonel Harrison, 
Commander General Ireton, Colonel Dean, and Colonel Okey, to 
consider of the time and place for the execution of the king, 
according to his sentence ; and this done, the court adjourned 
itself till Monday morning at eight o'clock. 

Meanwhile, his majesty being* taken away by the guards, was 
subjected to some ill-treatment. 'As he passed down the stairs,' 
says the Tribunal, ( the insolent soldiers scoffed at him, casting the 
smoke of their tobacco (a thing very distasteful unto him) in his 
face ; he, however, according to his wonted heroic patience, took 
no more notice of so strange and barbarous an indignity than to 
wipe it off with his handkerchief.' As he passed along, some of 
the soldiers raised a cry of ' Justice ! justice ! ' l Poor souls,' said 
he, ' for a piece of money they would do the same to their com- 
manders.' Being brought to Sir Robert Cotton's, and thence to 
Whitehall, the soldiery still continued their inhuman carnage 
towards him, and even abused all that seemed to shew any respect 
or pity to him ; ' not suffering him to rest in his chamber, but 
thrusting in, and smoking their tobacco, and disturbing his 
privacy.' However, such indignities as were inflicted on him, we 
are informed, he bore ' with such a calm and even temper, that he 
let fall nothing unbeseeming his former majesty and magnanimity.' 
There is no question that, in his humiliation, the king's bearing 
was every way composed and dignified. 

In the evening of Saturday, his majesty expressed a desire, 
communicated by a member of the army to the committee, that he 
might see his children, and that Dr Juxon, the bishop of London, 
might be admitted to assist him in his devotions, and to administer 
to him the sacrament. Both requests were granted. On Sunday 
22 



TRIAL OF CHARLES I. 

he was attended by his guard to St James's, where the bishop 
preached before him. The only members of his family who 
remained in England were the Princess Elizabeth and his 
youngest son, the Duke of Gloucester. The boy was a mere 
child, and the princess still of tender years. When they were 
brought to see him, he expressed himself very glad that they had. 
come ; and drawing the princess near to him, he bade her remem- 
ber to tell her brother James, whenever she should see him, that 
it was his father's last desire, that he should no more look upon 
Charles as his eldest brother only, but be obedient unto him as his 
sovereign; and that they should love one another, and forgive 
their father's enemies. But, as if doubting whether she would 
remember what he told her, he said : ' Sweetheart, you '11 forget 
this 1 ' l No,' said she, ' I shall never forget it whilst I live. 7 
And, with many tears, she promised to write down the particulars. 
The king wished her not to grieve and torment herself on his 
account, as, he said, the death he was about to die would be a 
glorious one, it being ' for the laws and liberties of the land, and 
for maintaining the true Protestant religion.' He recommended 
her to read the sermons of Bishop Andrews, Hooker's Ecclesiastical 
Polity, and Bishop Laud's book against Fisher, which, said he, 
would ground her against Popery. Lastly, he bade her tell her 
mother that his thoughts never strayed from her, and that his 
love should be the same to the very last. So, bidding her send 
his blessing to the rest of her brothers and sisters, with commenda- 
tion to all his friends, he gave her also his final blessing, and she 
took her leave. But while she still remained, he took the Duke of 
Gloucester on his knee, saying : ' Sweetheart, they are going to 
cut off thy father's head ; ' upon which words the child, as if much 
surprised, Hooked very steadfastly on him.' 'Mark, child, what 
I say : they will cut off my head, and perhaps make thee a king ; 
but mark what I say — you must not be a king so long as your 
brothers Charles and James do live ; for they will cut off your 
brothers' heads when they can catch them, and cut off thy head, 
too, at last ; therefore, I charge you, do not be made a king by 
them.' The child, with a gTeat sigh, replied : ' I will be torn 
to pieces first.' And so prompt and apt an answer falling oo 
unexpectedly from one so young, made the king rejoice exceedingly. 

Every night after his condemnation, his majesty is reported to 
have slept as sound as usual. On the 29th, the court met again in 
the Painted Chamber, to consider the resolution of the committee, 
which was : ' That the open street before Whitehall is a fit place/ 
and ' that the king be there executed on the morrow.' Of this the 
king had already received notice, and the court approved thereof, 
ordering a warrant to be drawn accordingly. The warrant runs 
as follows : — 

1 Whereas Charles Stuart, King of England, is, and standeth 
convicted, attainted, and condemned of High Treason, and other 
high crimes, and sentence upon Saturday last was pronounced 

23 



TRIAL OF CHARLES I. 

against him by this Court, to be put to death by the severing- of 
his head from his body : of which sentence execution yet remains 
to be done : These are therefore to will and require you to see the 
said sentence executed in the open street before Whitehall, upon 
the morrow, being the 30th day of this instant month of January, 
between the hours of ten in the morning' and five in the afternoon 
of the same day, with full effect : And for so doing- this shall be 
your warrant. And these are to require all officers and soldiers, 
and other the g-ood people of this nation of England, to be assisting- 
unto you in this service.' 

The document is addressed, ' to Colonel' Francis Hacker, Colonel 
Hunks, and Lieutenant-colonel Phray,' and is sealed and subscribed 
by 'J. Bradshaw,' ( O. Cromwell,' and fifty-seven other gentle- 
men. There only remained now to send an order to the ' officers 
of the Ordnance within the Tower of London,' for the ' bright 
execution-axe for the executing- of malefactors ;' and this being-, 
with all submission, delivered to the serjeant-at-arms, ' or his 
deputy or deputies,' everything- was pre23ared and in readiness for 
the great tragedy. 

The morning of Tuesday the 30th of January dawns like other 
winter mornings ; and, quite early, the commissioners are met 
tog-ether in the Painted Chamber, to consider and do what in the 
last hours seems to them required. They do nothing* in particular, 
except order ' four or five of their ministers ' to attend upon the 
king at St James's with the offer of their spiritual services ; ' but 
his majesty, well knowing what miserable comforters they were 
like to prove, refused to have any conference with them.' That 
morning the king, having slept soundly for about four hours, 
awoke near two hours before daylight ; and calling to Mr Her- 
bert, one of his attendants, who lay by his bedside, requested him 
to rise. ' For,' said the king, 1 1 will get up, having- a great work 
to do this day. Herbert,' he continued, ' this is my second mar- 
riage-day ; I will be as trim to-day as may be ; for, before night, 
I hope to be espoused to my blessed Jesus.' He then appointed 
what clothes he would wear. i And,' said he, ' let me have a 
shirt on more than ordinary, by reason that the season is so sharp, 
as probably may make me shake, which some observers will 
imagine proceeds from fear. I would have no such imputation ; I 
fear not death : death is not terrible to me ; I bless my God I am 
prepared.' Soon after the king was dressed, the bishop of London, 
Dr Juxon arrived, precisely at the time his majesty had before 
appointed. The bishop and the king spent an hour together in 
private j then calling Mr Herbert, his lordship prayed in the 
prayers of the church, reading the 27th chapter of St Matthew, 
which relates the passion of our Saviour. After service, the king 
thanked the bishop for making choice of that chapter, it being, as 
he observed, so applicable to his present condition. The bishop 
replied : ' May it please your gracious majesty, it is the proper 
lesson for the day, as appears by the calendar ;' at which the king- 

24 



TRIAL OF CHARLES I. 

was much affected, and ' thought it a providential preparation for 
his death.' 

About ten o'clock, Colonel Hacker knocked gently at the cham- 
ber door ; and knocking- louder a second time, the king" commanded 
•Herbert to go and open it. On being admitted, ' Hacker came in 
trembling,' and told his majesty it was time to go to Whitehall, 
■where he might have further time to rest. The king answered : 
' Well, go forth ; I will come presently.' Soon after he arose, and, 
taking the bishop by the hand, said : ' Come, let us go ; ' and 
turning to Mr Herbert, he said : ' Open the door ; Hacker has 
given us a second warning.' They passed through the garden* 
into the park, where several companies of infantry were drawn 
up, and formed a guard on each side of the pathway — the bishop 
walking on the king's right hand, and Colonel Tomlinson on his 
left, both bareheaded. The king walked very fast; and calling 
on them to walk fester, told them : ' He now went before them, 
to strive for a heavenly crown, with less solicitude than he had 
often encouraged his soldiers to fight for an earthly diadem.' At 
the end of the park, the king was conducted up the stairs leading 
to the Long Gallery, and so into the Cabinet Chamber, where, ' after 
several prayers and pious discourses, about twelve he ate a bit of 
bread, and drank a glass of claret.' Soon after, Colonel Hacker 
came to the chamber door, and gave his last signal. The bishop 
and Mr Herbert, weeping, fell upon their knees, and the king 
gave them his hand to kiss; and, helping up the aged bishop, 
said : ' Open the door ; ' and he then directed Hacker to go on, 
saying : ' I will follow.' He was then conducted through the 
banqueting-house, by a passage made through a window, to the 
scaffold ; on reaching which, he found so many companies of foot 
and troops of horse placed to keep off the spectators, that he 
perceived it would be impossible for him to address the people, so 
as to be heard by them, as he intended. What he wished to say, 
therefore, he addressed to the few persons who were immediately 
about him, and particularly to Colonel Tomlinson, to whose care 
he had latterly been committed. His speech, as reported in the 
Black Tribunal, was as follows : — 

1 " I shall be very little heard of anybody ; I shall therefore speak 
a word unto you here. Indeed I could hold my peace very weil, 
if I did not think that holding my peace would make some men 
think that I did submit to the guilt, as well as to the punishment; 
but I think it is my duty to God first, and to my country, to 
clear myself, both as an honest man, a good king, and a good 
Christian. 

" I shall begin first with my innocence. In troth, I think it not 
very needful for me to insist long upon this, for all the world 
knows that I never did begin a war with the two Houses of 
Parliament ; and I call God to witness — to whom I must shortly 

* The garden of St James's Palace, where the king since his trial had heen kept. 

25 



TRIAL OF CHARLES I. 

make an account — that I never did intend to encroach upon their 
privileges : they began upon me ; it was the militia they began 
upon ; they confessed that the militia was mine, but they thought 
it fit to have it from me. And, to be short, anybody who will 
look to the dates of commissions, of their commissions and mine, 
and likewise to the declarations, will see clearly that they began 
these unhappy troubles — not I : so that the guilt of these enormous 
crimes, that are laid against me, I hope in God that God will clear 
me of it. I will not (I am in charity), God forbid that I should, 
lay it upon the two Houses of Parliament; there is no necessity of 
either — I hope they are free of this guilt : for I do believe that 
ill instruments between them and me have been the chief cause of 
all this bloodshed. So that, by way of speaking, as I find myself 
clear of this, I hope (and pray God) that they may [be clear] too ; 
yet, for all this, God forbid that I should be so ill a Christian as 
not to say that God's judgments are just upon me. Many times 
he does pay justice by unjust sentence : that is ordinary. I will 
only say this: that an unjust sentence,* which I suffered to take 
effect, is punished now by an unjust sentence upon me. That is, 
so far as I have said [or, what I have so far advanced is], to shew 
you that I am an innocent man. 

" Now, to shew you that I am a good Christian. I hope there 
is [here] a good man (pointing to Dr Juxon) that will bear me 
witness, that I have forgiven all the world, and even those in 
particular that have been the chief causers of my death ; who they 
are, God knows ; I do not desire to know : I pray God forgive 
them. But this is not all — my charity must go further ; I wish 
that they may repent, for indeed they have committed a great sin 
in that particular. I pray God, with St Stephen, that this be not 
laid to their charge ; nay, not only so, but that they may take the 
right way to the peace of the kingdom ; for my charity commands 
me, not only to forgive particular men, but to endeavour to the 
last gasp [to promote] the peace of the kingdom. So, sirs, I do 
with all my soul (and I hope there is some here will carry it further) 
that they may endeavour [after] the peace of the kingdom. 

" Now, sirs, I must shew you, both how you are out of the way, 
and will put you in the way. First, you are out of the way ; for 
certainly all the way you ever have had yet, as I could find by 
anything, is in the way of conquest. Certainly, this is an ill way ; 
for conquest, sir, in my opinion, is never just, except there be a 
good cause, either for matter of wrong or just title ; and then, if 
you go beyond it, the first quarrel that you have [in regard] to it, 
makes that unjust at the end which was just at first. But if it 
be only matter of conquest, then it is a great robbery ; as a pirate 
said to Alexander that he [the emperor] was a great robber, and 
he was but a petty robber. And so, sir, I do think the way that 
you are in, is much out of the way. 

* The sentence against Strafford. 
26 



TRIAL OF CHARLES I. 

u Now, sir, to put you in the way. Believe it, you will never 
do right, nor will God ever prosper you, until you give God his 
due, the king- his due (that is, my successors), and the people their 
due. I am as much for them as any of you. You must give 
God his due by regulating- rightly his Church (according- to his 
Scriptures), which is now out of order.* To set you in a way 
particularly now I cannot, but only this : A National Synod freely 
culled, freely debating- among- themselves, must settle this — when 
that every opinion is freely and clearly heard. For the king-, 

indeed I will not" (Here, turning to a gentleman who 

happened to touch the axe, he .said : " Hurt not the axe that may 
hurt me.") " For the king-," he continued, " thelaws of the land 
will clearly instruct you for that ; therefore, because it concerns 
• wn ] (articular, I only give you a touch of it. For the people : 
And truly I desire their liberty and freedom as much as anybody 
whosoever ; but I must tell you, that their liberty and freedom 
consists in having, for government, those laws by which their 
lives and their goods may be most their own. It is not for having 
share in government, sir — that is nothing pertaining to them : a 
subject and a sovereign are clean different things ; and, therefore, 
until they do that — I mean that you do put the people in [the 
of] that liberty, as I say — certainly they will never enjoy 
themselves. 

" Sirs, it was for this that now I am come here. If I would 
have given way to an arbitrary way, to have all laws changed 
according- to the power of the sword, I needed not to have come 
here ; and therefore I tell you (and I pray God it be not laid to 
your charge) that I am the martyr of the people. In troth, sirs, 
I shall not hold you much longer, for I will only say this to you : 
that in truth I could have desired some little time longer, because 
I would have put this that I have said in a little more order, and 
[would have] a little better digested [it] than I have done ; and 
therefore I hope you will excuse me. I have delivered my con- 
science ; I pray God that you do take those courses that are best 
for the good of the kingdom, and your own salvation." 

' The king seemed here as though he had concluded, but the 
bishop, addressing him, observed: "Though it be very well known 
what your majesty's affections are to the Protestant religion, yet 
it may be expected that you should say somewhat for the world's 
satisfaction in that particular." 

" I thank you heartily, my lord," returned the king ; " I had 
almost forgotten it. In troth, sirs, my conscience in religion, I 
think, is very well known to all the world ; and, therefore, I do 
declare before you all, that I die a Christian, according to the 
profession of the Church of England, as I found it left me by my 
father; and this honest man (pointing to Juxon) I think will 
witness it." Then turning to the officers, he said : " Sirs, excuse 

* His majesty of course means, that you must restore Prelacy, and maintain the 
Church according to the notions and discipline of Archbishop Laud. 

27 



TRIAL OF CHARLES I. 

me for this ; I have a good cause, and I have a gracious God ; I 
will say no more." To Colonel Hacker he said : u Take care they 
do not put me to pain ;" and to a gentleman coming near the axe 
again, he exclaimed: "Take heed of the axe, sir— pray take heed 
of the axe." Next, speaking to the executioner, he said : " I shall 
say but short prayers ; and when I thrust out my hands — then 1 " 

' He now called to Dr Juxon for his night-cap, and put it on ; 
and being desired by the executioner to put his hair under the cap, 
he did so accordingly, with the help of the executioner and the 
bishop. Then turning to Juxon, he said (perhaps, as if half in 
doubt), " I have a good cause, and a gracious God on my side." 
The bishop answered : " There is but one stage more— this stage 
is turbulent and troublesome, but it is a short one ; you may con- 
sider it will soon carry you a very great way — it will carry you from 
earth to heaven, and there you shall find a great deal of cordial joy 
and comfort." " I go," rejoined the king, " from a corruptible to 
an incorruptible crown, where there can be no disturbance." 
" You are exchanged," added the bishop, " from a temporal to an 
eternal crown : a truly good exchange." Then the king, asking 
the executioner: " Is my hair well?" took off his cloak and his 
George, and giving the latter to Dr Juxon, said impressively : 
" Remember!" Looking at the block, he bade the executioner to 
make it fast ; and on being assured that it was fast, he said : 
" When I put my hands out this way" — stretching them out to 

shew — "then" After that, having uttered a few words to 

himself, as he stood with hands and eyes uplifted, he stooped down 
and laid his neck upon the block. As the executioner again 
adjusted his hair under his cap, the king, thinking he was going 
to strike at once, called to him : " Stay for the sign." After a 
short pause, his majesty stretched forth his hands, and thereupon 
the executioner (who was all the while in a mask) at one blow 
severed the head from his body ; and an assistant taking it up, 
held it streaming with blood before the spectators, crying : " This 
is the head of a traitor ! " ' 

We stay not to imagine the sensations of horror, or other feel- 
ings, that took possession of the people. Let it suffice here to 
relate that, after the execution, the head and body were ' put into 
a coffin covered with black velvet,' and carried into the king's 
lodging-chamber in Whitehall. Application was made to the men 
in power for leave to bury the remains in King Henry VI I. 's 
Chapel, in AVestminster Abbey ; but the request was denied, on 
the grounds that the spectacle might attract great numbers of the 
people to the place — a circumstance which, it was thought, would 
be unsafe and inconvenient. Leave, however, was given, upon a 
second address, for the interment to take place in St George's 
Chapel, Windsor. The body was embalmed, and placed in a lead 
coffin, ' to be seen for some days by the people ;' and at length, on 
the 7th of February, it was carried from St James's in a hearse 
drawn by six horses, with four coaches following, and so brought 

28 



TRIAL OF CHARLES I. 

to Windsor Castle. Here the order for interment was shewn to 
the governor, Colonel Whichcott. The arrangements for the 
burial were committed to the Duke of Richmond, the Marquis of 
Hertford, the Earls of Southampton and Lindsey, and the Bishop 
of London; the government allowing- L.500 for the expenses. 
Their lordahipe agreed on placing the king's body in a vault about 
the middle of the choir, ' over against the eleventh stall upon the 
sovereign's side,' where the bodies of Henry VIII. and Lady Jane 
Seymour had been formerly interred. When the coffin was 
brought to the vault, the bishop of London stood ready with the 
service-book in his hands, intending to have performed that last 
duty by reading 1 the public form of burial ; but the rude Puritan 
governor would not suffer it to be done. ' And though the lords 
earnestly desired it, and insisted on the Parliament's leave for it, 
yet he still denied, and said : "It was improbable the Parliament 
would permit the use of what they had so solemnly abolished, and 
therein destroy their own act." So the body was silently deposited, 
with this circumscription in capital letters upon lead : 

KING CHARLES. 

1648.'* 

No monument was erected to his memoiy, either at that time 
or after the Restoration, when it might very readily have been 
done with the sanction of the Parliament and country, which 
would doubtless have granted a liberal sum of money for the 
purpose. This circumstance has given occasion to conjectures, and 
even doubts, whether the royal body had been actually deposited 
in St George's Chapel, or whether it might not have been after- 
wards removed by the regicides. Lord Clarendon, in his History 
of the Great Rebellion, seems to intimate that though the king was 
known to have been interred there, the body could not be found 
when searched for some years afterwards. An attempt was made, 
at a comparatively early date, to remove all uncertainties about 
the matter ; the compiler or author of our Black Tribunal having 
obtained direct from l Mr John Sewel, a Register at Windsor 
Castle,' the following certificate or memorandum: 'Anno 1696, 
Sept. 21. — The same vault in which King Charles I. was burried, 
was opened, to lay in a still-born child of the then Princess of 
Denmark, our late g*racious queen.' We read further in the 
Tribunal : ' On the king's coffin, the velvet pall was strong and 
sound, and there was about the coffin a leaden band, with this 
inscription cut through it, " King Charles, 1648." ' As a further 
memorandum relating to King- Charles's interment, he says : 
1 That when the body of King Charles I. lay in state in the Dean's 

* The real date of the death of Charles is 1649. At that time, however, and for 
a long time afterwards, the year was not held as terminating till the 25th of March. 
All dates, accordingly, between 1st January and 25th March, were usually expressed 
as belonging to what we would now call the preceding year. 

29 



TRIAL OF CHARLES I. 

Hall, the Duke of Richmond had the coffin opened, and was satis- 
fied that it was the king's body. This several people have declared 
they knew to be true, who were alive and then present, as Mr 
Randolph of New Windsor, and others.' So that he thinks the 
Lord Clarendon was misled in that matter, and that King Charles 
II. never sent to inquire after the body, l since it was well known 
both to the inhabitants of the castle and town, that it was in that 
vault.' 

In some such state of hearsay and half uncertainty the matter 
rested down to our own times. Indeed, it is questionable whether 
so much evidence as the above was, to any considerable extent, 
known to be in existence. It seems to have been commonly 
understood, that the king had been buried somewhere in or about 
St George's Chapel, but the actual place of sepulture remained a 
mystery. An accident at length elucidated what had been so 
long enveloped in obscurity. In the year 1813, certain repairs 
and alterations were made in the royal burial-place at Windsor, 
when it was found necessary to form a passage to what is called 
the Tomb-house from under the chapel choir. ' In constructing 
this passage, an aperture was made accidentally in one of the walls 
of the vault of Henry VIII., through which the workmen were 
enabled to see, not only the two coffins which were supposed to 
contain the bodies of Henry and Queen Jane Seymour, but a third 
also, covered with a black velvet pall, which was presumed to hold 
the remains of Charles I. On representing the circumstance to 
the Prince-regent, he perceived at once that a doubtful point in 
history might be cleared up by opening this long-concealed vault ; 
and, accordingly, an examination was ordered. This was done on 
the 1st of April 1813, the day after the funeral of the Duchess of 
Brunswick, in the presence of his royal highness himself and 
other distinguished personages. 

* The vault being opened, the first thing done was the removal 
of the pall, whereupon there was discovered a plain leaden coffin, 
with no appearance of ever having been enclosed in wood, and 
bearing the inscription " King Charles, 1648," in large legible 
characters, on a scroll of lead encircling it. A square opening was 
then made in the upper part of the lid, of such dimensions as to 
admit a clear insight into its contents. These were, an internal 
wooden coffin, very much decayed, and the body carefully wrapped 
up in cerecloth, into the folds of which a quantity of unctuous or 
greasy matter, mixed with resin, as it seemed, had been melted, 
so as to exclude, as effectually as possible, the external air. The 
coffin was completely full ; and from the tenacity of the cerecloth, 
great difficulty was experienced in detaching it successfully from 
the parts which it enveloped. Wherever the unctuous matter had 
insinuated itself, the separation of the cerecloth was easy; and 
when it came off, a correct impression of the features to which it 
had been applied was observed in the unctuous substance. At 
length the whole face was disengaged from its covering. The 

30 



TRIAL OF CHARLES I. 

complexion of the skin of it was dark and discoloured. The fore- 
head and temples had lost little or nothing- of their muscular sub- 
Stance ; the cartilage of the nose was gone, but the left eye, in the 
first moment of exposure, was open and full, though it vanished 
almost immediately; and the pointed beard, so characteristic of 
the period of the reign of King Charles, was perfect. The shape 
of the face was a long oval ; many of the teeth remained ; and the 
left ear, in consequence of the interposition of the unctuous matter 
between it and the cerecloth, was found entire. 

1 It was difficult at this moment to withhold a declaration, that, 
notwithstanding its disfigurement, the countenance did bear a 
strong resemblance to the coins, the busts, and especially to the 
pictures of King Charles I. by Vandyke, by which it had been 
made familiar to us. It is true, that the minds of the spectators 
of this interesting sight were well prepared to receive this impres- 
sion ; and it will not be denied that the shape of the face, the fore- 
head, an eye, and the beard, are the most important features by 
which resemblance is determined. 

1 When the head had been entirely disengaged from the 
attachments which confined it, it was found to be loose, and without 
any difficulty was taken up and held to view. It was quite wet, 
and gave a greenish-red tinge to paper and to linen which touched 
it. The back part of the scalp was entirely perfect, and had a 
remarkably fresh appearance, the pores of the skin being more 
distinct, as they usually are when soaked in moisture; and the 
tendons and ligaments of the neck were of considerable substance 
and firmness. The hair was thick at the back part of the head, 
and in appearance nearly black. A portion of it, which has since 
been cleaned and dried, is of a beautiful dark-brown colour ; that 
of the beard was a redder brown. On the back part of the head 
it was more than an inch in length, and had probably been cut so 
short for the convenience of the executioner, or perhaps by the 
piety of friends soon after death,* in order to furnish memorials 
of the unhappy king. 

' On holding up the head to examine the place of separation 
from the body, the muscles of the neck had evidently retracted 
themselves considerably ; and the fourth cervical vertebra was 
found to be cut through its substance transversely, leaving the 
surfaces of the divided portions perfectly smooth and even — an 
appearance which could have been produced only by a heavy blow 
inflicted with a very sharp instrument, and which furnished the 
last proof wanting to identify King Charles I. 

1 After this examination of the head, which served every purpose 
in view, and without examining the body below the neck, it was 
immediately restored to its situation ; the coffin was soldered up 
again, and the vault closed.' 

* This latter the more likely, as it will he seen, from the foregoing account of the 
execution, that the hair was tucked up under the cap ; and there is no mention at 
all of its having been cut off. 

31 



TRIAL OF CHARLES I. 

An authentic account of this discovery, and of the circumstances 
attending" it, was substantiated by the signature of the Prince- 
regent, and deposited in the British Museum. The present 
statement is derived from a paper on the subject contained in a 
volume of pamphlets, entitled Essays and Orations, published by 
Mr Murray in 1831, and is quoted from an abridged account given 
in an early number of Chambers's Edinburgh Journal. 

We do not enter into the moral question involved in the be- 
heading of King Charles, as that is a subject involving more 
considerations than could be adequately dealt with at the end of 
the present paper. It has been our aim simply to supply the 
reader with the particulars of a celebrated trial, which is not 
usually represented otherwise than in meagre and imperfect outline 
in the current histories. It has been rendered by most historians 
pretty much according to their personal prepossessions, and has very 
rarely been set forth with anything approaching to unprejudiced 
impartiality. The present representation, drawn as it is from the 
reports and memorandums of a professed contemporary Royalist, 
may be concluded to give as unfavourable a view of the proceeding's 
as could readily be given in the shape of a report, though we 
see no reason to believe that anything has been consciously or 
intentionally perverted ; and we apprehend that the effect of it 
will be to shew, that the court before which the king was brought 
to trial had no defect of judicial dignity, and that the prisoner 
had every courtesy and consideration paid to him which was 
consistent with his position as an arraigned criminal before a 
popular tribunal. AYhile we pity the fate of Charles, we must in 
fairness respect the motives and intense sincerity of his judges ; and 
if we acknowledge that it would have been right in him to crush 
his opponents in the civil wars, had he been successful in the 
contest, it is not easy to see how it was wrong in them to give to 
him the very measure which he would have meted out to others. 




MONTENEGRO AND THE MONTENEGRINS. 




•S 




}//^f¥K ^-^ anc * diplomacy are 
dr ' Wj-' great contributors 
^to geographical and 
ethnographical studies, 

inasmuch as they bring 
into notice many an inte- 
// resting corner of the earth, 
which peace had left buried 
in obscurity. Such is the case with 
Montenegro, a country of no more 
than about sixty English miles in 
length, and thirty-live in breadth, 
but which, in consequence of late 
events, has assumed so prominent 
a position in the political press, 
that many of our readers may 
very likely feel disappointed on 
learning*, that on the map of 
Europe it occupies so small a 
space. Insignificant, however, as 
Montenegro is in point of aeo- 



graphical extent, the inhabitants 
have for centuries been able to 

maintain their independence against the mighty subju- 
gators of many of their Slavonic brethren; and if at 
present they recognise the protectorate of a greater power, 
it is by the S} T mpathies of race and religion, and by the 
arts of diplomacy, they have been brought into this 
semi-subjection, not by the force of arms. 

In early times, the wild mountain region which now bears the 
name of Montenegro — and which is bounded on the north, south, 
and east by the Turkish provinces Herzegovina, Bosnia, and Albania ; 
No. 47. l 



state of 



MONTENEGRO AND THE MONTENEGRINS. 

and on the west by the Circolo di Cattaro, a district of Austrian 
Dalmatia — formed part of the principality of Zeta or Zenta, depen- 
dent on the »-reat Slavonic empire of Servia, but governed by its own 
princes. When this empire — embracing; the whole of ancient 111 vri- 
cum and the northern division of the Graeco-Slavonic peninsula — 
succumbed to the victorious arms of the Moslems towards the close 
of the fourteenth century, Zeta became independent ; and although 
its princes, subjected to the repeated attacks of the Turks, were 
forced gradually to abandon part of their territories, and to with- 
draw into the more mountainous districts of their dominions, and 
the country was at one time, nominally at least, incorporated with 
Turkey, the inhabitants never recognised the sovereignty of the 
Porte, and continued to resist with unflinching- bravery the nume- 
rous Turkish armies sent into their country to bring- them to sub- 
mission. In 1516, the then ruler of Montenegro, who had married 
a Venetian lady, was persuaded by her to abandon his wild moun- 
tain home for the sweets of civilised life in her native city ; and, 
with the consent of his people, ceded the supreme rule of the 
country to the metropolitan. Since that period, Montenegro has 
never had other rulers than its bishops, or vladikas, as they are 
called in the language of the country. Notwithstanding- their 
ecclesiastical character, the vladikas approved themselves worthy 
of being- the rulers of so warlike a people, and the struggle for 
independence was as energetically persisted in under their rule as 
before. With a view to weakening- their foes, the vladikas entered 
repeatedly into alliance with the enemies of Turkey ; and thus the 
Montenegrins took part in all the wars between the Venetian 
republic and the Ottoman Porte, and also subsequently joined 
Russia in her attacks upon the latter power. 

Actuated by sympathies of race and religion — for the Monte- 
negrins belong to the Slavonic race and to the Greek Church — as 
well as by a desire to strengthen themselves against the hereditary 
foes who had so often brought havoc and devastation over their 
country, the Montenegrins declared themselves, in 1712, subjects 
of the Tzar Peter the Great of Russia, who, being fully alive to 
the important assistance he might derive from this little people in 
carrying out his plans upon Turkey, accepted their allegiance, and 
promised his protection. But although the Russian monarchs have 
ever since that period continued to exercise this nominal protecto- 
rate, and have fully availed themselves of the assistance of the 
Montenegrins in their wars against Turkey, they have never, on 
concluding peace with the latter power, endeavoured to secure the 
independence of their brave allies ; and the benefits conferred by 
them on Montenegro have been limited to some pecuniary assistance 
afforded the vladikas, and honorary distinctions bestowed on some 
of the chiefs of the nation, all with a view to maintaining an 
influence over a people and a country which may in time prove of 
the utmost importance to Russia with regard to her action upon 
all the Slavonians of the south. The geographical configuration 



MONTENEGRO AND THE MONTENEGRINS. 

and position of the country render it, indeed, a natural fortress, 
which has proved, and may still prove, of the utmost strategical 
importance to Russia in case of a war with the surrounding 
countries. A steep mountain-range which begins near Cattaro, 
and winds its sinuous length first in a north-easterly direction as 
far as the 43d degree 01 latitude, and then, turning towards the 
south-west, continues its course in this direction until it loses itself 
in the plains of Albania, divides the little principality from Herze- 
govina in the north-west, and Upper Albania in the north-east, and 
along the latter tract in particular, offers almost insurmountable 
obstacles to military operations against the country. On the third 
side, facing the south-west, and bordering on Austrian Dalmatia, 
the Montenegrins are in possession of the mountain heights; and 
here also, therefore, their position is almost impregnable. The 
fourth or south-eastern side, however, presents towards Albania 
an open front, formed of six large valleys, each watered by a 
foaming mountain-stream ; but although the difficulties which an 
attacking enemy has to overcome here are comparatively few and 
insignificant, they are in reality great and numerous, for the 
intervening mountain-ridges which separate these several valleys 
from each other are as impassable and as inhospitable as the two 
principal ranges which guard the north-western and the north- 
eastern frontier; and the commanding general will always be 
placed between the disagreeable alternatives of dividing his forces, 
and entering all the six valleys at once, or of attacking one 
valley at a time, in which case his flanks towards the intervening 
ridges will be strategically uncovered. In addition to this, he will 
have to contend with the difficulties presented by a number of 
smaller valleys running in a transverse direction to that of the 
greater ones, and likewise traversed by mountain-torrents, which 
at certain periods of the year, or after great rains, swell into very 
formidable dimensions. 

To the natural strength of this position, more even than to their 
bravery, the Montenegrins owe their escape from the yoke which 
has been laid upon so many of their race ; but the full independence 
which Russia failed to secure for them, they effected for them- 
selves in 179G, by one of the most brilliant achievements in the 
military annals of modern Europe. In that year, the pacha of 
the province of Scutari, bordering upon Montenegro, received 
orders to march into that country with a large army, and to 
conquer or exterminate the population. But the Montenegrins, 
nothing daunted, met the invaders under the command of their 
vladika, Peter Petrovich ; and acting on a stratagem devised by 
him, part of their forces engaged the enemy in front, while the 
rest succeeded in turning the invading army, and attacking it in 
the rear. The Turks, thus hemmed in between two enemies, and 
having their retreat cut off, fought during three days and nights 
with the courage of despair, but ultimately succumbed. About 
30,000 Turks perished in this deadly encounter, which affords a 

3 



MONTENEGRO AND THE MONTENEGRINS. 

true picture of the general character of the conflict maintained for 
ages between these two half-barbarous nations. Since that time, 
the Turks have never ventured to penetrate into the country of 
the Montenegrins ; but border forays between the two countries, 
carried on in the most barbarous spirit, have never ceased; and 
the wild character and depredatory habits acquired by the Monte- 
negrins during- centuries of constant warfare, render them most 
formidable neighbours to all the surrounding countries. 

The name of Montenegro, which is an Italian translation of the 
Slavonic Tzernagora (the Black Mountain), is generally assumed 
to be derived from the dark pine-forests supposed to have once 
covered this mountainous region ; but such a fact is not mentioned 
in history, nor is the assumption borne out by the present aspect 
of the country ; and it is therefore more likely, as has been 
suggested by the German traveller Kohl, that in this case, as 
generally among- the Slavonians of Turkey, as well as the Turks 
in the Slavonic countries, the term '.black' has been used to 
denote the wild and intractable character of the mountaineers, and 
the name given in hatred has been accepted in defiance, and has 
been applied to the country as well as to the inhabitants." Sir 
Gardner Wilkinson, who visited Montenegro a few years ago, 
describes the aspect of the country as that of a succession of 
elevated mountain-ridges, diversified here and there by a lofty peak, 
and in some parts looking like a sea of immense waves turned 
into stone. Trees and bushes, among which pine-trees are in a 
minority, grow in the fissures among the rocks, that are all of 
limestone, and therefore not of a dark hue. All travellers seem to 
agree that nowhere have they beheld rocks and mountains tossed 
about in such wild disorder as in Montenegro : and the people 
themselves account for the rugged character of their country by a 
jocose tradition. When God, they say, was distributing stones 
over the earth, the bag in which he held them burst when over 
Montenegro, and they all fell upon that spot. 

As we have seen, high mountain-ridges descending* in abrupt 
declivities mark the natural as well as the political boundaries 
between Montenegro and Austrian Dalmatia on the one side, and 
Turkish Herzegovina and Upper Albania on the other ; but 
the southern frontier meets that of Turkish Albania in the 
fruitful levels surrounding the Lake of Scutari ; and here the 
boundary-line varies with the fortunes of war, the lake itself, 
which abounds in fish, being often an apple of discord between 
the unruly borderers. Into this lake, towards the north-western 
extremity of which its mountains and valleys shelve down, run all 
the water-courses of Montenegro ; and the country may be said to 
turn its face towards the lake, and its back towards the Adriatic, 
into which sea the Montenegrins might almost fling a stone from 
the summits of some of their mountains, so near are they to it, yet 

* Tzerna gorki « the Slavonic name of the Montenegrins. 




MONTENEGRO AND T 

from which they are completely cut 
Austrian territory called the Circolo di CaT 

The high mountain-ridge overlooking" 
in the district Katunska, one of the four 
which what may be called Montenegro proper is 
first that entirely emancipated itself from the Turk! 
other districts which, tog-ether with this, must be cc 
forming' the stable nucleus of the state of Monteneg-ro, 
joined the Katunska nahia in the course of the last century 
the present, four other districts, called the Berdas, have been added 
to the dominions of the vladika. The last of these districts joined 
Montenegro so late as 1831; and in 1840, the inhabitants of the 
valleys of Grachovo also made themselves independent of the 
Turks, and though not allowing themselves to be incorporated 
with Montenegro, entered into intimate relations with that country. 
The number of uskoks, or deserters from the Turks, has also 
greatly increased of late ; but, on the other side, defections among 
districts or tribes belonging to Montenegro ulso sometimes take 
place ; and the denomination of Montenegro must, therefore, be 
considered as in a measure applying to a fluctuating extent of 
territory. 

The name Katunska is said to be derived from the Albanian 
word hattui, meaning cattle-shed ; and, so far, it is very appro- 
priate to the district, which, being the most elevated in the 
country, is the alpine pasture-land of Montenegro. The Katunska 
nahia is neither the most fertile nor the most populous, nor is it 
the richest in natural products ; in all these respects it is, on the 
contrary, greatly surpassed by the smiling lands on the banks of 
the Lake of Scutari, where the vine, the fig, and the olive are 
cultivated ; but it is the most important, inasmuch as it constitutes 
the stronghold of the country. Here dwell the poorest, but most 
warlike tribes of the people, to whom the country has been more 
than once indebted for its rescue from the Turkish armies that 
were laying- waste the more fruitful territories, but who never 
succeeded in penetrating into these mountain fastnesses. Here, 
also, is Tzetinie, the residence of the vladika ; and still higher up 
in the mountains, Niegush, the birthplace of his family. With 
the exception of the very fertile tracts in the vicinity of the Lake 
of Scutari and a few of the lower valleys, the country is but little 
suited for agriculture ; but notwithstanding their warlike and 
depredatory habits, the people are not wanting in industry, and 
every little patch of arable land found among the rocks is culti- 
vated and made to contribute to their subsistence. Many of these 
patches are not more than thirty or forty feet square ; but these 
little oases, in which grow, perhaps, only a few cabbages or 
potatoes, appearing in the midst of steep and barren crags, relieve 
the sterile monotony of the mountain tracts, and tell pleasantly of 
the industry of man. The cultivation of the potato was intro- 
duced into Montenegro at an earlier date even than into Germany; 

5 



HD THE MONTENEGRINS. 



m 



■ ■ ' . Eg M 



m 



eople of the benefit thus conferred upon 
ho made them acquainted with this 
F this, and several other signal services ren- 
Kymen, placed by them among- the saints. At 
gro not only produces potatoes sufficient for 
supplies the whole consumption of the Bocca di 
moreover, exports large quantities through these 
sides potatoes, the chief exports of Montenegro are 
mutton, called castraditia ; salt fish, principally from the 
Lake of Scutari, called scoranza ; hides, tallow, wool, cheese, 
butter, wax, honey, silk, and tobacco, besides Indian corn, and 
various fruits and vegetables ; and fowls, sheep, and pigs, with 
which they supply the markets of Cattaro. The city of Cattaro 
is indeed in a great measure dependent on Montenegro, for the 
flat lands that surround the Bocca di Cattaro produce nothing but 
oil and wine and a few garden-fruits, while the mountain-slopes 
belonging to Austria, which close them in on the land-side, are 
utterly barren and sterile; but beyond the mountains, in the 
fruitful valleys around the Lake of Scutari, are produced the 
various items mentioned above, and these are brought to Cattaro 
across the steep mountain-passes of Montenegro. So suspicious, 
however, are the Cattarenses of their wild neighbours, even in their 
commercial character, that only on condition of deposing their 
arms at the gates, are they admitted within the walls of the city ; 
and they, therefore, generally prefer transacting their business in 
the bazaars in the suburbs, where they may strut about in the 
warlike accoutrements they so much affect. 

Of towns, strictly so called, Montenegro has none ; but the 
number of villages is reckoned at between 200 and 300. The 
largest of these does not comprise above 1200 inhabitants ; and the 
houses, which are of stone, and generally covered with thatch or 
wooden shingles, are rarely ranged side by side so as to form 
regular streets, but in most cases are scattered about, looking more 
like detached farmhouses than like the component parts of a town. 
Even Tzetinie, the seat of government, would make but an 
indifferent appearance at the side of many of our English villages. 
On a rocky eminence, forming one of the side-walls of the largest 
and most verdant valley of the district Katunska, is situated a 
monastery, and at the side of this a church. Above the monastery, 
on a higher ledge of the rock, frowns an old square tower, while 
further down, almost on the level bottom of the valley, is an oblong 
building of respectable dimensions, and two stories in height, in 
which the vladika resides. These various buildings, together with 
the large courtyards attached to them, are surrounded by a pretty 
high wall. In front of the monastery, and just be} r ond the 
cincturing wall, is a large open space surrounded by some two 
dozen houses, and from which extend two broad roads or streets 
lined with miserable hovels. Such is Tzetinie. 

In the remotest mountain regions, the huts, which are only a 

6 



MONTENEGRO AND THE MONTENEGRINS. 

few feet high, are built either of wicker-work or of loose stones 
piled one upon the other without cement, and covered in with the 
con iv est thatch. The interior arrangement of the houses is as 
primitive as the outward structure ; the three or four monasteries 
in the country only, and a very small number of dwelling-houses, 
among- which is the vladika's residence, having two stories, and 
resembling" in other respects the dwelling-houses of civilised 
countries. One or two rooms on the ground-floor, with a loft 
above, to which access is gained by means of a ladder and a 
trap-door, is all the generality of the larger houses contain ; 
while the smaller ones can boast of one room only, which is at 
one and the same time kitchen, parlour, and sleeping-room, though 
not in every case bedroom ; for among the poorer people beds are 
an unknown and an unwished-for luxury, the floor of the hut, or 
the bare mountain-side, serving the same purpose, and being as 
much to their liking. In the better kind of houses there is, 
however, a rude bench running along one of the side-walls, which 
serves as bedstead, and on which are spread mattresses and 
blankets, but no sheets; while neither these houses nor the humbler 
ones are provided with chimneys. The fire burns on a raised 
hearth on the floor, but the smoke is left to escape as best it may. 
A few wooden tables, chairs, and stools, in addition to the bedstead 
aforementioned, complete the furniture of an ordinary Montenegrin 
dwelling* ; and, with the exception of the vladikas, who, for the 
last three generations, have been highly-educated men, few even 
of the chiefs can boast of being better housed or accommodated. 

The villages are not, as might be supposed in a country so 
constantly exposed to invasion, perched on the rocks in the most 
impregnable positions, but are, on the contrary, mostly situated on 
the slopes of the mountains, and in the open valleys and hollows; 
and nowhere throughout the country is there the slightest attempt 
at fortification. For the defence of their country, the Montenegrins 
depend upon their own bravery, and upon nature's fortresses — the 
mountains ; and to guard their treasures they need no walls, for 
their herds and flocks are easily driven higher up into the moun- 
tains ; and whatever other valuables they may possess, they always 
carry about their persons. 

That a people living in so rude a style cannot have attained any 
very high degree of mental culture, is a matter of course ; and, 
indeed, even the most rudimentary knowledge of reading and 
writing is said to be an unusual accomplishment among the 
Montenegrins ; and their manners are as primitive as their houses. 
Kohl describes as follows his reception in the house of a relative 
of the reigning vladika :— ' The hut, which was built of rough 
stones, was very low, and also dark, as but slight provision had 
been made for letting in the light. We were, however, first 
received in a kind of open vestibule or veranda, the roof of which 
was supported by trunks of trees, and round which was placed a 
row of benches. The old master of the house first welcomed us 

7 



MONTENEGRO AND THE MONTENEGRINS. 

with a glass of brandy, with which we were offered a bit of dry 
bread ; but subsequently we were invited to enter the hut to 
partake of a sheep, which had been butchered and roasted for us. 
The repast was served on a low round board — a large mutton-bone, 
with a quantity of meat attached to it, being; placed before each 
guest.'* The cheer was found excellent, the mutton being- 
peculiarly juicy, owing" to the sheep having- been roasted whole ; 
and as soon as the friendly and attentive host perceived that any 
of the company had finished his share, another bit was seized by 
the bone, and laid before him. 

The Montenegrins are g-enerally tall of stature and well- 
j>roportioned, and their picturesque costume sets off their handsome 
person to the best advantage. The dress of the men consists of a 
pair of full blue trousers, reaching* a little below the knee, over 
which the white shirt is worn ; a red vest ; a white or yellow caftan 
reaching- to the knee, and held round the waist by a broad sash ; 
and a red or g-reen jacket without sleeves, but richly embroidered, 
as is also the vest, which is visible, as the caftan is open in front : 
over all is thrown a scarlet dolman bordered with fur, and hung- 
upon one shoulder in the fashion of our hussars. The head, which 
is shaved in front, is covered with a red cap, round which is 
wrapped a white or coloured shawl in g-uise of turban, and from 
under which escapes the hair from the back of the head, which is 
allowed to grow long-. 

The female dress consists of a frock or pelisse of white cloth, 
without sleeves, open in front, and reaching- to the ankles. This 
frock is trimmed with various devices in braiding- or coloured cloth 
and tassels, and in front are several gold ornaments. Round 
the neck the women wear numerous chains and collars and strings 
of gold coins, and their ears and their plaited locks are also adorned 
with pendants of g-old. The headg-ear of the girls is a red cap, 
covered in front with a mass of silver Turkish coins, lapped one 
over the other like scales ; and over this cap is thrown an embroi- 
dered veil, which falls upon the shoulders. The red cap of the 
married women, instead of the coins, has a border of black silk, 
and on g-ala-days a bandeau of gold ornaments, g-enerally 
half-covered with a veil, fastened on the top of the head by a 
g-old-headed pin. The long* loose sleeves and fronts of their shirts 
are embroidered with gold thread, or with silks of various colours ; 
and when an apron is worn, it is usually of coloured woollen-cloth, 
with a dee}) fring-e along- the bottom. Round the waist the women 
wear a g-irdle studded with red cornelians, and on their feet 
worsted socks embroidered in various colours, and sandals, called 
opanchc, also worn by the men. 

The ornaments most prized by the men of Monteneg-ro are their 
arms, which they never lay aside, and which consist of a long- 
gun, a pair of pistols, and a yatag-han — a kind of long- knife, equally 

* Kohl : Reise in Mr»itcnegro. 



MONTENEGRO AND THE MONTENEGRINS. 

jrviceable for cutting- and thrusting-. This, as well as the pistols, 
I worn in the girdle, from which also hang- several small 
ouches containing- cartridges, balls, &c. The guns and pistols are 
-equently of a very ornamental character, inlaid with fine steel 
p mother-of-pearl ; and a Montenegrin never prides himself so 
luch upon his weapons, as when he is able to relate that they 
ave been won in battle by himself or his fathers, or obtained by 
illage ; for the constant border forays against the Turks have so 
Mired this people to war and pillage, that robbery and incendiarism 
re considered honourable even in times of peace. The ring- of 
lackened ruins which encircles the foot of their l black mountain' 
ome, and the high walls which protect all the Dalmatian country- 
ouses in their vicinity, tell, indeed, a terrible tale of their character 
3 neighbours. 

The whole population of Montenegro is calculated at about 
05,000 souls ; but the number of individuals capable of bearing- 
rms is proportionately very considerable. This number, however, 
epends greatly upon circumstances. If the Turks make an 
iroad into the country, even old men, cripples, and young* boys 
ike to arms. There are thus instances of boys of ten years of ag-e 
raving distinguished themselves in the wars of their country ; and 
mong other incidents of the kind, an anecdote is related of one 
riuro Lottocich, who, though confined to bed with a broken leg, 
q hearing that the Turks had entered the country, insisted on 
eing- carried out to a rock whence he could fire on the enemy, 
nd who remained there three hours at his bloody work, never 
easing- until he was informed that his countrymen had gained the 
ictory. If all such occasional warriors be reckoned among the 
g-hting-men of the country, the number of these is of course 
onsiderably swelled ; but if there be a question of a regular force 
apable of taking the field, it is different. By some, the 2)ushkis* 
f Montenegro are said not to amount to more than 15,000 ; others 
tate the number to be 35,000. However, the vladika, who must 
e considered the best authority, told Mr Kohl, in 1850, that he 
ould at any moment raise from 20,000 to 25,000 well-armed men 
or the defence of the country. These must not, however, be 
upposed to be regular disciplined troops ; for in reality they are 
nly men trained from infancy to the use of arms by their fathers, 
s they are taught to lisp the language of their country by their 
aothers. Their mode of warfare is indeed by no means that of 
ivilised nations, but is described as follows by an eye-witness, a 
lussian officer, doing service on board the Russian fleet in 1806, 
vhen the Montenegrins were induced to join the allies against 
France : f 

' Being inured to hardships and privations, they perform, without 
atigue and in high spirits, very long and forced marches. They 

* Men armed with a gun. 

f Quoted by Count Valerian Krasinski in his recent work, Montenegro and the 
Uavonicins of Turkey. 

No. 47. 9 



MONTENEGRO AND THE MONTENEGRINS. 

leap over wide ditches, supporting themselves on their long- rifles, 
and pass over precipices where bridges would be absolutely requi- 
site for every other kind of troops, and they climb the steepest 
rocks with great facility ; they also bear with the utmost patience 
hunger, thirst, and every kind of privation. When the enemy is 
defeated and retiring, they pursue him with such rapidity that 
they supply the want of cavalry, which it is impossible to employ 
in their mountainous country. When the enemy is in great force, 
they bum their villages, devastate their fields, and after having 
enticed him into the mountains, they surround and attack him in a 
most desperate manner. When the country is in danger, the Monte- 
negrins forget all personal feelings of private advantage and enmity ; 
they obey the orders of their chiefs, and, like gallant republicans, 
they consider it a happiness and a favour of God to be allowed to 
die in battle. It is in such a case that they appear as real warriors; 
but beyond the limits of their country they are savage barbarians, 
who destroy everything with fire and sword. Their ideas about 
war are entirely different from those adopted by civilised nations. 
They cut off the heads of those enemies whom they take with 
arms in their hands, and spare only those who surrender before 
the battle. The property which they take from the enemy is con- 
sidered by them as their own, and as a reward of courage. They 
literally defend themselves to the last extremity. A Montenegrin 
never sues for mercy ; and whenever one of them is severely 
wounded, and it is .impossible to save him from the enemy, his 
own comrades cut off his head. When at the attack of Clobuch, 
a small detachment of Russian troops was obliged to retreat, an 
officer of stout make, and no longer young, fell on the ground from 
exhaustion : a Montenegrin perceiving it, ran immediately up to 
him, and, having drawn his yataghan, said to him : " You are very 
brave, and must wish that I should cut off your head ; say a 
prayer, and make the sign of the cross." The officer, horrified at 
the proposition, made an effort to rise, and regained his comrades 
by the aid of the friendly Montenegrin. They consider all those 
taken by the enemy as killed. They carry out of the battle their 
wounded comrades on their shoulders. Arms, a small loaf of 
bread, a cheese, some garlic, a little brandy, an old garment, and 
two pair of sandals made of raw hide, form all the equipage of the 
MontenegTins. On their march, they do not seek any shelter 
from rain or cold. In rainy weather, the Montenegrin wraps 
around his head the strnoka — a shawl of coarse cloth — lies down 
on the ground, and, putting his rifle under him, sleeps very com- 
fortably. Three or four hours of repose are quite sufficient for his 
rest, and the remainder of his time is occupied in constant exertion. 
It is impossible to retain them in the reserve, and it seems that 
they cannot calmly bear the sight of the enemy. . . . When there 
is no enemy in sight, they sing and dance, or go on pillaging, in 
which we must give them the credit of being perfect masters. . . . 
If they are in great force, they conceal themselves in ravines, 
10 



MONTENEGRO AND TOE MONTENEGRINS. 

and send out only a small number of shootprs, who, by retreating, 
lend the enemy into the ambush. Here, after having surrounded 
him, they attack him, usually preferring on such occasions swords 
to firearms, because they rely on their personal strength and 
bravery, in which they generally have the advantage over their 
enemies. When their numbers are inferior, they choose some 
advantageous position on high rocks, where, pronouncing 1 every 
kind of abuse against their enemies, they challenge them to combat. 
Their attacks are mostly made during the night, because their 
principal system is surprise. However small their force may be, 
they always try to wear out the enemy by constantly haras>ing 
him. . . . The tactics of the Montenegrins are confined to being 
skilful marksmen. A stone, a hole, a tree, offers them a cover from, 
the enemy. Firing usually in a prostrate position on the ground, 
they are not easily hit, whilst their rapid and sure shots carry 
destruction into the ranks of a regular army. They have, besides, 
a well-practised eye forjudging- of distance, and thoroughly under- 
stand how to take advantage of the ground ; and as they usually 
fight retreating, the French, who took it for a sign of fear, con- 
stantly fell into their ambush. As for themselves, they are so 
cautious, that the most skilful manoeuvres cannot deceive them. 
It may be said, that they perceive the enemy by scent, and they 
discover him at distances at which his movements can scarcely be 
discerned by others by means of a telescope. Their extraordinary 
boldness frequently triumphed over the skill of the experienced 
bands of the French. . . . However, the advantages of their 
courage in assisting the Russian troops, and the fruits of victory, 
were lost by their want of order. During the siege of Ragusa, it 
was never possible to know how many of them were actually 
under arms, because they were constantly going to their homes 
with spoils, whilst others joined the army in their places, and after 
a few days of indefatigable exertion, returned to the mountains, 
to carry away some insignificant trifle. . . . The Montenegrins 
disperse, and deliberately firing from a lying position on the closed 
ranks of the enemy, are not afraid to attack columns composed of 
1000 men with numbers not exceeding 100 or 150. In a pitched 
battle, their movements can be discerned only by the direction of 
their standards. They have certain signal-cries, which are uttered 
when they are to join in a compact body for attacking the weaker 
points of the enemy. As soon as such a signal is given, they 
rush furiously onwards, break into the squares, and at all events 
succeed in creating great disorder in the enemy's ranks. It was 
a terrible spectacle to see the Montenegrins rushing forward with 
the heads of their slaughtered enemies suspended from their necks 
and shoulders, and uttering savage yells.' 

This custom of cutting off and carrying away the heads of their 
enemies, is still in full force: and when Sir Gardner Wilkinson 
visited the country in 1847, he beheld the heads of many Turks 
garnishing the walls of the old ruinous tower in the neighbourhood 

n 



MONTENEGRO AND THE MONTENEGRINS. 

of the residence of the vladika, who, however, expressed his utter 
abhorrence of this barbarous custom, and his great desire to see it 
abolished. That the savagery and valour of the Montenegrins in 
war have not abated during- the present century, is furthermore 
attested by the manuscript diary of an eye-witness of many of 
their encounters with the Turks, which was given to Sir Gardner 
Wilkinson, and from which the following is an extract: — 

' Bielopavlich, June 16, 1839.— At about an hour's journey 
from the village of Chinvilaz are a score of huts, inhabited by 
Montenegrin shepherds. The Turks of Spuss made a sortie, and 
going round three miles, set fire to them in two places, at three 
o'clock a.m. The unfortunate shepherds defended themselves as 
well as they could, until the people of Chinvilaz, seeing the fire, 
came to their assistance, 100 strong. In this first encounter the 
Montenegrins lost eight killed and forty-six wounded; but the 
Turks only succeeded in carrying away one head. It was impos- 
sible to ascertain the Turkish loss, as they fought on the banks of 
the river Zetta, which divides theirs from the Montenegrin terri- 
tory. The Montenegrins then valorously attacked a body of 3000 
men with their small band, and sent nineteen Turkish heads to 
Tzetinie, and forty-nine guns, ornamented with silver. The same 
morning, the Turks made another attack, on the opposite side of 
the river, when the Montenegrins, in number about 100, scarcely 
fired their guns, but fought hand to hand with their yataghans, 
and routed the Turks on every side. This battle lasted three 
hours, and the Montenegrins took no less than thirty-six heads ; 
three standards ; three beautiful horses, with their equipments in 
silver; three sabres, silver mounted; more than seventy firearms, 
large and small ; and nine yataghans, all mounted in silver. 

' Tzetinie, June 17. — Monsignore* immediately sent to Bielo- 
pavlich, to order the captain to bring the Turkish heads, and the 
arms, banners, and horses to Tzetinie, which command was im- 
mediately executed. They entered Tzetinie, each man bearing in 
triumph the heads of the Turks he had vanquished, with shouting 
and firing of guns. The same day, after dinner, the vladika 
ordered that every one should bring his heads to the plain of 
Tzetinie ; and forming a great circle, Monsignore placed himself 
in the midst, with the president and all the senate, called out the 
warriors one by one, and, embracing each, hung round his neck a, 
silver medal by a red cord, in the name of our holy religion, our 
country, and our emperor, f Nicolai Pavlovich ; and this honour 
he bestowed, to the intent that they might know how to defend 
themselves bravely against the rascally Turks.' 

Even the women of Montenegro seem to partake of the warlike 
and ferocious spirit engendered by the long struggle of this people 
to maintain their independence, and many instances are recorded 
of the courage and bravery evinced by them. Among these is an 

* The vladika. t The emporor r>f Russia. 

12 



MONTENEGRO AND THE MONTENEGRINS. 

incident related by Colonel Vialla de Sommieres, of a sister and 
four brothers who, being- on a pilgrimage to the shrine of some 
paint, were waylaid by seven Turks in one of the narrow rocky 
defiles so common in the country. Being- hemmed in by the 
surrounding rock-walls, retreat was impossible, and the brothers 
could only determine to defend their sister to the last, and to sell 
their lives as dearly as possible. After a short but desperate 
struggle, in which they killed six of their adversaries, the Monte- 
negrins were defeated, though heroically assisted by their sister, 
who, having seized the gun of the first brother who fell, kept up 
a constant tire, until the last sunk to the ground, pierced to the 
heart by the yataghan of the only surviving Turk. On seeing this, 
she stood aghast for one moment, then, feigning- great terror, sued 
for mercy. This was promised, but on the most revolting condi- 
tions only ; and the maiden, though pretending to listen, was only 
watching for an opportunity to consummate her revenge. No 
sooner was her enemy thrown off his g-uard, than she buried her 
dagger in his breast, and turned to fly ; but the relentless Turk, 
plucking the dagger from the wound, was about to renew his 
attack upon her, when, seizing him with the strength of despair, 
she hurled him down a neighbouring precipice, just as one of her 
own people came up to the rescue. 

Another instance of female bravery, but unfeminine ferocity, is 
related in one of the songs of the country. ' An outlaw laments 
on the mountain : " Poor Stanisha, accursed am I, who have let 
thee fall unavenged ; " and in the Valley of Zusa the wife of 
Stanisha hears that voice, and learns that her husband has fallen. 
The fiery Christian woman at once seizes a gun, and rushes forth, 
following the green path along which had come down the murderers 
of her husband — fifteen Turks, and their leader, Chengish Aga. 
She discovers the aga, fires, and kills him on the spot. The other 
Turks, frightened at the boldness of the heroic woman, fly, and 
leave her unmolested to cut off the head of their leader, which she 
takes to her home. 

' Fatima, the wife of Chengish, writes to the widow of Stanisha : 
" Christian woman, thou didst tear out both my eyes when thou 
killedst my husband. If thou art a real Tzernagorka, thou wilt 
come to-morrow alone to the frontier, where I will meet thee also 
alone, that we may see which of us will approve herself the best 
wife." 

' The Christian woman puts away her female garments, and 
clads herself in man's attire — the spoils of Chengish. She takes 
his yataghan, his pistols, his splendid rifle, and, mounted on his 
prancing steed, she flies along the paths of Zusa. On passing by 
each rock she cries : " If a brother lies here in ambush, kill me not; 
I am not a Turk — I am a child of the black mountain." Arrived 
at the frontier, she finds that the faithless Turkish woman has 
brought with her her husband's brother, who, mounted on a 
mighty black steed, rushes madly on the young Christian woman; 

13 



MONTENEGRO AND THE MONTENEGRINS. 

she awaits him without fear, sends an unerring- bullet throug-h his 
heart, and then severs his head from the body. She then pursues 
Chengish's widow, binds her, and leads her captive to her home, 
where she is oblig-ed to rock asleep the orphan children of Stanisha. 
"When Bula (the Turkish woman) has served her thus for fifteen 
years, she sends her buck to her own people.'* 

One maiden is mentioned in the traditions of the country, who, 
on a trying- occasion, evinced so much bravery that she was ever 
after allowed to bear arms ; and if this fact be authentic, no 
stronger proof could be given of the extraordinary esteem in 
which this people hold valour, for to bear arms is considered a man's 
chief dignity, and in Montenegro, women are by no means deemed 
worthy of sharing- the dig-nity of the stronger sex. The position 
of women in this little country is indeed strangely anomalous, 
they being- considered in some respects little better than beasts of 
burden, and in others so sacred that their presence is sufficient to 
hold the most reckless in check. A man never speaks of his wife 
without making- some apology for introducing- so undignified a 
subject, as some nations apologise for mentioning- an unclean beast; 
and on entering- his presence, the wife demurely kisses the hand of 
her lord, and even of honoured guests of the male sex. It is 
averred by travellers, that it is no uncommon sig-ht in MontenegTO 
to see a strong and robust man mounted on a horse or a mule, 
riding- comfortably along-, while his wife trudg-es on foot by his 
aide, laden with the g-oods which her better-half has purchased in 
the market ; and even lovers are said to travel together in this 
way, the man stooping now and then to give his sweetheart a kiss, 
but never offering to give her a lift, be the road ever so steep or so 
stony. All the hard work in the country, with the exception of 
the tillage of the soil, is done by the women ; and when a Monte- 
negrin is in want of a little cash to purchase a supply of tobacco 
for the pipe, which hardly ever quits his mouth, or some balls and 
powder for the rifle, which is not only his weapon in war but his 
plaything- in peace, he thinks little of loading a sack of potatoes or of 
Indian corn on the back of his wife, and of sending- her off with it 
to market — sometimes a distance of many miles, and along roads 
the best of which are described as being- merely a kind of zigzag 1 
track, as rough as the paths through one of the original forests in 
America, where the interlaced and gigantic roots of thousands of 
trees obstruct the passag-e — with this difference only, that in 
Montenegro the roots are stones. 

But although in these respects treated with so great a want of 
consideration, the women of Montenegro are not, as in many other 
countries, regarded as the playthings of the men : they are, on 
the contrary, never treated with levity ; and to offer an insult to a 
woman, is looked upon as an action unworthy of a man, and one 
for which her relatives would be bound to seek prompt revenge. 

* Cyprien Robert. 
14 



MONTENEGRO AND THE MONTENEGRINS. 

So sacred, indeed, is even the most helpless among- the sex held, 
that a young- girl is considered the most efficient guard for travel- 
lers through even the wildest and most lawless districts of the 
country, where a passport from the vladika mig-ht prove of little 
use in securing- the property or the life of the traveller. Be there 
peace or strife among- the men, women are allowed to pass back- 
wards and forwards unmolested, and even Turkish women may 
enter Montenegro without fear of injury. If a woman be devoted 
to you, willing- to speak and act for you, and, in case of need, to 
shield you with her body, you may venture among- the most reck- 
less bandits of Montenegro without fear, for no man among- this 
people would raise his hand to slay a woman, unless it be his own 
wife, whom he has detected in infidelity, in which case the usag-es 
of his country justify him in avenging- on the spot his outrag-ed 
honour. It is said that, relying- on the sacred character of the 
weaker sex, some Montenegrins, who, some years ag-o, were 
meditating- an attack upon an Austrian corps, made a woman 
march in their van ; and that, on finding: that the Austrians, who 
were held back by no sensitive scruples, tired and killed the 
woman, their fury knew no bounds. 

The mode of government and the constitution of society in 
Monteneg*ro were originally what, according- to the phraseology of 
our day, would be termed purely democratic. The vladika,* the 
civil g-overnor, and the military chiefs or scrdars, were all elected 
by the chiefs of the villages, called hniaz or f/lavor, who were 
in their turn elected by the people, and when assembled in council 
represented the latter. To the assembly of these chiefs, held in 
the open air in the plain of Tzetinie, in front of the vladika's 
residence, were submitted all matters of public importance. The 
discussions were often of a very noisy character ; but, notwith- 
standing- the pugnacious propensities of the people, it was not 
usual, on these occasions, to come to blows : when the bells 
of the adjacent monastery of Tzetinie gave the signal for silence, 
order was at once restored ; and, as the answer to the vladika's 
question, whether the assembly approved or disapproved of the 
measure proposed, was invariably : ' Let it be as thou wishest, 
vladika,' one. might suppose that the noise was more the result of 
a love of talk than of a love of opposition. However, notwith- 
standing- this apparent submissiveness, the vladika's power over 
his people was in reality merely nominal, or at least only a moral 
power, no Montenegrin thinking himself bound to submit to any 
law or authority save that of his own will ; and the vladika 
possessing- no means of compelling his subjects to obedience, 
except by threatening them in his ecclesiastical character with 
excommunication. Happily for the country, however, the late 
vladika and his immediate predecessor were men of remarkable 
abilities, and, in point of education, greatly superior to their 

* The word vladika signifies lord, not bishop. 

15 



MONTENEGRO AND THE MONTENEGRINS. 

people ; and they availed themselves of the influence this superiority 
secured to them, to establish, at least in some measure, law and 
regular government in the country. 

During- the rule of the first of these reforming vladikas, Peter 
Petrovich I., the office of governor, which had in course of time 
become hereditary in a certain family, was abolished, in conse- 
quence of the treachery of the person then holding the office ; and 
the accession of power thus gained by the vladika was used by 
him for good purposes. On his death-bed, Peter Petrovich, who 
died in 1830, and was subsequently canonised, bequeathed to his 
nephew and successor a plan for the reform of the government, 
which was eventually carried out by the latter. In accordance 
with this plan, a new governing body was introduced, in the form of 
a senate, consisting of sixteen members, chosen from among the 
»:hiefs of the country ; and, in subordination to this, a body of 
so-called guardians, composed of 135 members, intrusted with the 
execution of the decrees of the senate, and with the administration 
of minor affairs. In addition to these officials, a certain number 
of young men, chosen from among the most influential families, 
were appointed to form a body-guard for the vladika, with a view, 
not to protect his person, for this was not necessary, but to give 
greater impressiveness to his orders. According to Count Kra- 
sinski, the senate of Montenegro, notwithstanding its high-sounding 
title, ' bears a much stronger resemblance to a council of North 
American Indians than to the House of Lords in this country. 
The palace of the senate — or, as it is simply called, the senate — 
is an oblong stone building of one story, covered with thatch. It 
has two doors, one of which leads to an apartment used as a stable 
for oxen and donkeys, the other conducts to two separate apart- 
ments. On entering that on the right, you will find it filled with 
bedsteads covered with straw, for the use of the senators, whose 
rifles hang about the walls. The apartment to the left forms the 
state-room : a stone-bench runs along one of its walls ; and in the 
middle there is a fireplace, round which the deliberations of the 
supreme council are generally held, and the dinner of its members 
cooked. When the vladika is present at the deliberations, he 
usually occupies a seat on the stone-bench, covered with a rug ; 
the senators sit near him on the same bench ; whilst those who 
cannot find room there, as also litigant parties, occupy low 
wooden stools or stones round the fireplace, and carry on their 
deliberations smoking their pipes. Whenever anything is to be 
committed to writing*, the secretary of the vladika is called in. 
and he either composes the necessary document in the convent, 
or writes it in the assembly, after the Turkish fashion, on his 
knees.' 

The chief difficulty in the way of the establishment of the 

supremacy of law in Montenegro, is the custom of blood-revenge 

which this people have in common with all half-barbarous nations, 

and which, being intimatelv interwoven with all their notions of 

it; 



MONTENEGRO AND THE MONTENEGRINS. 

right and justice, has always proved most difficult to eradicate or 
to supersede by a regular system of justice. Among* the Monte- 
negrins, as among* our Saxon forefathers, and indeed among* all 
European nations in the same stag*e of development, there are 
established certain rates of money -tines or compensations for 
various offences. A homicide may, for instance, be paid off with 
a Mini of 120 ducats ; and a wound in the arm, in the foot, in 
the ear, &c, has each its price. But the parties who are the 
sufferers by the offence, are not bound to accept of such com- 
pensation ; and the lav/ of retaliation being* more in accordance 
with the character of the people, this is, in spite of all the vladika's 
exertions, even in the present day, much more frequently resorted 
to ; in consequence of which, not only individual families, but 
Whole villages, are often engag-ed in deadly feuds, transmitted 
from generation to generation. 

According* to the rules of the law of blood-revenge as it exists 
among* the Montenegrins, the right and duty of reveng*e devolves 
upon the nearest male relative of the person who dies by the hand 
of another, or in consequence of the machinations of another. If, 
at the death of a father, the son be not of an age to bear arms, the 
right of revenge being* held as a sacred inheritance, is not assumed 
by his uncles or other grown-up relatives, but is reserved for him. 
The child is brought up by his mother to look upon himself as his 
father's avenger ; and the bloody deed by which the latter fell, is 
kept constantly before his mind. If the son is beyond the age of 
infancy, it is customary for the widowed mother to hold his father's 
bloody garments before her boy, and to make him take a solemn oath 
upon them in presence of his nearest kinsmen, and sometimes even 
of a priest, to remember the death of his father when he shall have 
attained the age of manhood. If, on the contrary, the son who 
inherits the dread office of avenger be still an infant, and conse- 
quently incapable of understanding* the duty, the mother places the 
father's blood-stained shirt, or a handkerchief dipped in his blood, 
on the child's cradle, and takes the oath in his name ; after which 
ceremony, the blood-stained memorial is hung* up in the hut, to 
await the day of veng-eance ; in the meanwhile, the tale of the 
evil deed which brought desolation over her home, is frequently 
repeated by the widow to kinsmen and visitors with many tears 
and lamentations. An incident which took place so late as the 
year 1851, is strikingly illustrative of the early age at which the 
minds of the children among; this people are familiarised with the 
idea of bloodshed, and the duty of reveng*e. In a suit pending* 
before an Austrian court of justice in one of the towns of the 
Bocca di Cattaro, a pretty and intellig-ent-looking* boy was called as 
a witness by one of the parties. The judge put to him the usual 
question: 'What is your name?' — ' Savva Markovich,' was the 
answer. 'How old are you?' — 'Seven years.' 'Who is your 
father ? ' — ' Marko Greg*orevich : he is no longer among the living.' 
'When did he die?'—' He did not die.' ' How so?'—' He was 

17 



MONTENEGRO AND THE MONTENEGRINS. 

murdered. We all know it; he was murdered by Spiro Jurovich 
from Saroschi ; and when I am a man, I will shoot Jurovich.' 
' How, now, my little fellow — how can you think of* yuch a 
dreadful thing- t — who put that into your head?' — 'O yes, I will 
kill Spiro Jurovich. I must do so. My uncle, the priest, Peter 
Gregorevich, has told me so. I will shoot him with the rifle that 
hangs in my uncle's room. When I am a man, my uncle will 
give me the rifle, that I may avenge my father, and punish his 
murderer. This is truth.' 

Another case, shewing- how much the law r s of honour are bound 
up with this principle of the duty of private revenge, was brought 
before the same tribunal during- Mr Kohl's stay in the country. 
A young- man, of very mediocre fortune, had been engaged to a 
pretty young- girl during- four years, and was still without prospects 
of being- able to marry. At this juncture, another young- man, 
in a more favourable position in life, succeeded in alienating- the 
girl's affections from her engaged, and having proposed and been 
accepted, married her. The deserted lover, though burning with 
indignation, determined to postpone his revenge for a time ; partly 
because he was undecided what form to give it, and partly because 
his successful rival belonged to a more numerous and more influ- 
ential family, and caution was consequently necessary. Anger and 
shame, however, gnawed at his heart, and the more so as he 
perceived that his acquaintance began to look askance at him. He 
found that on Sundays, when he met his former associates at 
church, they shunned him, evidently ashamed of being- seen in 
company with one who was mean-spirited enough to submit to a 
great injury without seeking revenge. At length, even his most 
intimate friends openly taunted him, and told him that he had met 
with no more than his cowardice deserved ; while his brothers and 
other kinsmen complained bitterly of his bringing shame on the 
whole family bj r his tame submission. Still time passed on, and 
he seemed not to be able to make up his mind to action. One day, 
however, a cry of anguish was heard to proceed from the house 
of his rival— it was the young wife, who had found her husband 
lying dead and covered with wounds in the garden behind their 
house. Suspicion at once fell upon the man whom she and her 
husband had so grievously wronged, and he was cited before the 
tribunals ; but no proofs could be adduced against him, and he 
resolutely denied having committed the deed — such denial in a 
court of justice being not considered derogatory even by the bravest 
among the people. To the kinsmen of the murdered man it had, 
however, been reported that the murderer had vaunted himself of 
the deed, but they would not appear as witnesses against him, for 
had they done so, he would inevitably have been condemned, and 
they were by no means anxious to see his punishment taken out 
of their own hands ; besides which, it is considered cowardly and 
dishonourable to take revenge on an enemy by witnessing against 

him in a court of justice. 
is J 



MONTENEGRO AND THE MONTENEGRINS. 

As the Montenegrins, as well as their neighbours, the Bocchesi, 
or inhabitants of the Bocca di Cattaro, not only love revenge, but 
are at the same time very prudent and cunning-, it frequently 
happens that a much longer interval of time even than in the 
above case may elapse before they attempt to execute their plan of 
vengeance. Except in cases where the most violent passions are 
excited, they do not pursue their reveng-e to the exclusion of all 
other objects ; and as the person who has committed the offence 
will, of course, try to avoid the presence of the avenger, an oppor- 
tunity for the latter to consummate his purpose may long- fail to 
present itself. Even if the enemies meet, it may be under circum- 
stances that render it impossible to prosecute a private feud, and 
thus, as has been said, years may elapse before the plan of vengeance 
can be carried out. But though deferred, it is never forg-otten nor 
given up, and sometimes the aveng-er will even follow his victim 
to a foreign land, to consummate his fell purpose. An instance of 
such long-deferred vengeance is also told by Kohl. A Montene- 
grin, who was serving- as herdsman, heard one night a great noise 
in the cattle-fold, and on getting- up beheld a man, who had broken 
into the fold, in the act of carrying- off a sheep. The Montenegrin 
at once levelled his g-un at the thief, and shot him dead on the 
spot. The kinsmen of the man thus killed, laid the case before the 
vladika, and the latter declared that the man, having- been caug-ht 
in theft, had deserved his fate, and* that his family could there- 
fore neither claim compensation nor demand blood for blood. The 
late vladika, Peter Petrovich II., was held in too great reverence 
by his people for the complainants in this case to venture openly 
to demur ag-ainst his decision ; but the thirst for vengeance was 
concealed in their hearts like the fire smouldering under the ashes, 
and when, after some years, the vladika left the country for a 
short while, the flame burst forth. A brother of the man who 
had been killed, one day approached stealthily the faithful servant, 
who was tending his master's herds, and slew him on the very 
spot where the detected thief had fallen. The murdered man 
was not without kindred, ready in their turn to avenge his 
death ; and this feud may therefore be transmitted to future 
generations. 

Notwithstanding the ferocity and barbarous contempt for law 
exhibited in this system of blood-revenge, in their mode of warfare, 
and in their constant infringements of the rights of property, the 
Montenegrins are by no means an uncouth and violent people in 
daily intercourse. Towards travellers they generally evince much 
cordiality and courtesy ; and notwithstanding their love of pillage, 
they religiously respect the person and the property of the stranger 
who places himself under their protection, by entering their coun- 
try as a friend. The mode of expressing kindness, and of wishing 
the stranger welcome, is, however, somewhat embarrassing to 
persons unaccustomed to very demonstrative manners. On the 
approach of an expected guest, the men who have assembled to 

19 



MONTENEGRO AND THE MONTENEGRINS. 

greet him on his arrival, receive him with a salute of muskets, 
' which, pointed downwards, and tired with ball among- the rocks, 
through which he is slowly pursuing 1 a winding path, may, by the 
glance of a bullet, as easily be his death-warrant for the next 
world as a sign of welcome in this.' However, the ceremony 
which awaits him on joining his hospitable entertainers may, per- 
haps, to many a. western European of reserved habits, prove more 
.startling still, for the guest is expected to kiss on the lips every 
man present belonging to the family of his host ; while the women 
kiss his hand. This ordeal of kissing has indeed to be gone through 
pretty frequently. Sir Gardner Wilkinson relates, that having 
once made a present of a bit of candy-sugar to a little child, lie 
was in return kissed by every member of the family. 

Towards each other the Montenegrins are polite, but reserved 
and cautious ; many an imprudent word, which in more civilised 
societies might be passed by unnoticed, as having escaped the 
speaker in the heat of discussion or during a moment's irritation, 
being among this people accounted an offence calling for serious 
redress. Abusive terms are not at all tolerated, being considered 
almost as offensive as a blow with a stick ; and the latter is looked 
upon as su injuring to the honour of him who receives it, that such 
a blow has in several instances been the origin of a case of blood- 
revenge. A blow with the fist is not considered so humiliating as 
a blow with a stick, but worst of all is a blow struck with the tube 
of a tobacco-pipe. The money-compensation for this latter offence 
is almost as high as that for homicide. Not only in Montenegro, 
but in all the adjoining Slavonic provinces, the same feelings pre* 
, vail with regard to a blow with the tube of a pipe, and may pro- 
bably arise from the fact of this form of personal aggression being 
peculiar to the hated Turkish race. It is usual for the Turks, 
when not in the act of smoking, to stick their pipes down at the 
back of their neck, between the dress and the body, and hence it 
is easily snatched when the ire of the owner is provoked, and used 
to belabour him who has called forth this ire. To an act of this 
kind the vladika of Montenegro owes an accession to the number 
of his subjects, for, as must always be the case where two hostile 
and semi-barbarous nations border on each other, whenever a 
contiguous Slavonic tribe feels itself particularly aggrieved by its 
Turkish masters, it transfers its allegiance to the vladika of Monte- 
negro ; and, on the other hand, instances have not been wanting 
of dissatisfied Montenegrin subjects transferring their allegiance to 
the hereditary foes of their country. In the instance alluded to, 
a Turkish bey, or landed proprietor, in one of the valleys border- 
ing on Montenegro, who had for a long while proved himself a 
severe and unjust master to the Christian Slavonians subjected to 
his authority, was one day, in harvest-time, so exasperated by 
what he deemed the negligence and indolence of one of these 
people, that he drew out his pipe and struck the Christian with it 
across the shoulders. The insult was rendered doublv galling by 
20 



MONTENEGRO AND THE MONTENEGRINS. 

its being* inflicted under the Slavonian's own roof, on liis own 
hearthstone ; and, stung to the quick, lie seized a hatchet that was 
near at hand, and stretched the Moslem at his feet. He then 
rushed out of the hut with the blood-stained weapon in his hand, 
and calling- together the inhabitants of the village, told them how 
he had been treated, and how he had retaliated. The long- 
nourished hatred against the Turk broke forth in rage and impre- 
cations on all sides; and foreseeing- that if the Turks retained the 
power, they Mould soon take revenge, not only on the man who 
had slain the bey, but on all the tribe, they unanimously resolved 
to take to arms, to exterminate fls many of the Turks as they 
could lay hands on, and then to join the Montenegrins. 

In Montenegro itself, a bloody and most disastrous feud origi- 
nated, a few years back, in a blow struck with a pipe ; yet in this 
Case the offender was of the same race and relig-ion as the sufferer. 
A pope, or priest, belonging- to one of the principal families in the 
country, being- engaged in a dispute with another Montenegrin, 
likewise belonging to a leading family, in the heat of the discussion 
struck his adversary with the tube of his pipe, for in Montenegro 
priests smoke and tight as do their flocks, and, with few exceptions, 
are as ignorant as the mass of the people. The blow was not 
returned on the spot, but it was well known that the family of the 
man that had received the insult was plotting revenge. The vladika 
being very anxious, as before said, to put an end to the private 
feuds, exerted his influence to the utmost to bring- about a recon- 
ciliation ; but although the fear and respect which he inspired held 
the parties in check for awhile, the dishonour that had befallen 
the family of him who had received the blow was held in bitter 
remembrance, and when, after some time, the vladika went on a 
visit to St Petersburg-, the pent-up flame burst forth, and a feud 
ensued, which ended in the almost total extermination of both 
families. On hearing- of this event on his return, the vladika is 
said to have wept, as well at the unconquerable barbarism of 
his people, as at the loss of so many of the best men of the 
country. 

The mode of proceeding- against culprits adopted by the govern- 
ment of Montenegro, after the introduction of the reforms alluded 
to above, shews how low in the scale of civilisation must be 
the people among whom such means are resorted to for estab- 
lishing anything like a wholesome fear of the law. To gain 
possession of the culprit's person, even when the crime committed 
was of the darkest hue, was found quite impracticable, as no one 
would deliver him up to justice, and a regular police force does 
not of course exist in the country. The government was therefore 
obliged to have recourse to the expedient of burning down the 
dwellings and confiscating the property of persons who were 
proved guilty of murder, the confiscated property being divided 
among those who would undertake to put the sentence into 
execution. This last bait it is that tempts the people to assist, at 

21 



MONTENEGRO AND THE MONTENEGRINS. 

least so far, in carrying" out the ends of justice ; but though many, 
lured by the prospect of gain, present themselves to aid in the 
execution, great reluctance is always evinced as to tnking- the lead. 
The outlawed murderer, deprived of house and property, generally 
seeks refuge in some mountain cave or rocky fastness, where he 
leads the life of a robber; and thus, while the authority of the law 
is upheld on the one side, the number of those who live by breaking" 
the law is increased. Sentence of death it is almost impossible to 

get executed in Montenegro, for, fearing- to render themselves 
able to blood-revenge, the people resolutely refuse to lend their 
aid ; and on one occasion the government was obliged to have 
recourse to the strange expedient of assembling together several 
hundred men from various parts of the country, and belonging to 
different tribes, to shoot two malefactors condemned to death, in. 
order that by this means it mig-ht remain dubious whose ball hit 
the culprits. 

Language and literature — that is to say, traditions and popular 
songs — the Montenegrins have in common with the Servians; and 
among them, as among the latter people, it is customary to chant 
the popular poetry to the accompaniment of an instrument called 
gusta — a kind of primitive cithara, with one string only, and played 
with a bow, from which a plaintive but monotonous sound is 
drawn. In addition to the songs and traditions of Servia, Monte- 
negro has, however, also manj r that date from a period subsequent 
to the separation of the country from the rest of the Servian nation: 
the number of these, indeed, daily increases, for there is not an 
event of any importance that is not recorded in the verses of the 
bards ; and the gusla-players, who recite in poetic language the 
events of the day, thus not only represent the chroniclers, but 
likewise the daily press of Montenegro. As is generally the case 
among nations in this stage of civilisation, the poetry of the 
Montenegrins is of an earnest and serious, and sometimes even of 
a deeply melancholy character. The events narrated being chiefly 
of a tragic nature, such as the feuds with the Turks, the cruelties 
and oppression practised by this people on their Christian subjects, 
the death of some renowned hero, &c, are in themselves calculated 
to awaken painful feelings ; and as the bards recite the poetry with 
much earnestness and dignity, and a kind of suppressed pathos, it 
is said not to be unusual to see the warlike Montenegrins burst into 
tears at the songs of some favourite gusla-player. 

A peculiarity among the Montenegrins which must produce a 
strange effect upon a foreigner travelling in their country, but 
which they have in common with their Slavonic brethren in all 
the surrounding countries, is the power they possess of making 
their voices and the words they pronounce distinctly audible at 
distances which to us seem perfectly incredible, and thus they are 
enabled to carry on conversations from mountain to mountain, 
as Ave only can converse face to face. On these occasions, the 
voice is not elevated to any extraordinary pitch, but is, on the 
22 



MONTENEGRO AND THE MONTENEGRINS. 

contrary, m;ide to emit tones described to be like a kind of 
suppressed howl, the words being- pronounced slowly and with a 
peculiarly drawling' accent, experience having- proved that in this 
maniier the voice reaches furthest, and the words fall most dis- 
tinctly on the ear of the distant interlocutor, although even to 
those standing 1 near to the person thus speaking-, the words seem 
to come from afar. However, it requires habit to understand the 
words coming- thus from a distance, as well as to pronounce them 
so as to make them distinctly audible to others ; and travellers 
assert, that although they have frequently heard mysterious sounds 
floating- around them in the air, they have never been able to 
distinguish the words. 

If a shepherd in Montenegro feels lonely in the mountain where 
his Hocks are browsing-, he raises his voice in the way above indi- 
cated, sure that the winds or the echoes will carry it to the ears of 
some other solitary herdsman, who, thus invited, g-ives a response; 
and thus commences a conversation across vale and mount, which 
solaces tne solitude of both. If no more important subject presents 
itself, they inquire, perhaps, the number of each other's flocks or 
herds; whether they are .straying- or not; whether anything- par- 
ticular is taking- place within sight of either. If it so be that some 
traveller is passing- by, and he is found to be a stranger, a person 
of importance, or one bearing- a suspicious character, and who 
might be an enemy of the country, the inquiries and descriptions 
enter into the minutest details ; and then also the person who 
receives the information will in all likelihood deem it too important 
to be kept to himself, so he turns in another direction, and delivers 
the message to the winged messeng-ers of the air, who bring* it 
to other ears, and thus it is transmitted from mountain peak to 
mountain peak, until the whole country is alive with the news; 
therefore, when a stranger arrives in a village, he may find the 
whole population on foot to receive him, though he is not aware 
that any notice has been given of his coming*, and that the myste- 
rious sounds which he heard at times floating- around him in the 
air, were conveying- to distant localities a signalenicnt of himself 
more faithful than that of many a vis hi passport. 

If nothing- of moment or of interest be occurring' within sight 
of the watchful mountain-shepherds, their attention will some- 
times be turned inward, and their communications to the distant 
listener will then refer to their own thoughts and feelings; and 
thus have no doubt arisen many of those poetic dialogues of so 
frequent occurrence in Servian poetry, for the talent of improvisa- 
tion is common among- the people, and the gift of poetry is by no 
means an exclusive endowment of the bards by profession. 

But it is not only for idle g-ossipping-s or for poetic outpourings, 
nor even for purposes of police, that the Montenegrins and the 
other kindred nations of Illyria avail themselves of this power of 
transmitting articulate sounds to far-distant places ; they render 
the talent available in a still greater degree for all the common 

23 



MONTENEGRO AND THE MONTENEGRINS. 

purpose.-? of life. All kinds of messages relating- to the practical 
business of the populations are transmitted in this way with won- 
derful celerity and accuracy ; and the mountain-echoes which thus 
help to promote internal communication have, in one respect at 
least, placed barbarous Montenegro in advance of the most civi- 
lised countries of Europe, for this mode of communication was in 
use there ages before the electric telegraph was dreamed of. In 
illustration of the useful purposes to which these winged words are 
put, we may cite an incident which occurred to a traveller engaged 
in a journey through the Illyrian provinces. On arriving at a 
certain village, he found that a mule which was ordered as a relay, 
and on which he was to continue his journey, had been sent to the 
pastures several miles up in the mountains. The owner, hoAvever, 
expressed no kind of dismay at this contretemps; but assuring' the 
traveller that the mule would be ready for him at the appointed 
hour, went out into the open air, and turning in the direction of 
the mountain, called out : ' Hobo ! hehe ! listen to me, people of 
the village of Bielizza. High up on the mountain Glinbotich, close 
to the great beech-tree with the withered branch, my little boy, 
Janko Jessipovich, is tending my white-footed mule. Tell him 
to bring down the mule without delay.' ' Hoho ! hehe!' then 
holloed out the people of the village of Bielizza, taking- up the 
message — ' the mule of Janko Jessipovich is pasturing* in the 
mountain Glinbotich, close to the great beech with the withered 
branch. Let it be brought down without delay.' And thus the 
message went from mouth to mouth, until it reached Janko 
Jessipovich ; and by the time appointed, the white-footed mule 
was ready to convey the traveller further. In like manner, a tra- 
veller, for whom relays have been bespoken, may, if lie changes 
his plan of proceeding, easily give notice of the fact, and secure 
the means of conveyance in the new direction which he intends 
to take, and he may also thus bespeak beforehand the hospitality 
of the villages he means to visit. 

In Montenegro, this system of throwing their words to the 
winds is, above all, important on the frontiers, particularly those 
towards Turkey, whence acts of aggression may at any time be 
expected ; and here, therefore, the roving shepherds are always on 
the look-out, and occasions for giving the alarm are very frequent. 
A troop of Turkish marauders, for instance, pass the frontiers, 
invade a secluded valley, murder a herdsman whom they find 
there, and carry off his cattle ; but a little shepherd-boy witnesses 
the irruption and the deed of violence from an overhanging cliff, 
and suddenly the cry of alarm resounds through the valley : ' Wo, 
wo ! the Turks have come stealthily upon us. They have mur- 
dered Juro Markovich, and carried off my white cow and the rest 
of the cattle, and also our sheep.' And on all sides the cry is 
taken up: 'Wo, wo! listen, men — listen! The Turks have 
stolen a march upon us; they have killed Juro Markovich, and 
carried off the white cow and the rest of the cattle. Wo, wo ! Let 

24 



MONTENEGRO AND THE MONTENEGRINS. 

whoever can carry a <run, and who is not a coward, hurry to the 
rescue!' In an incredibly short time, the valley swarms with 
limed men, who, without stopping- to consult about a plan, hurry 
clown the mountain-slopes in pursuit of the rubbers, overtake and 
slay them, and return in triumph to the valley with the white 
cow and its companions, and perhaps with a few Turks' heads on 
their pikes. 

The vladika Peter Petrovich II., to whom we have repeatedly 
alluded as the great social reformer of Montenegro, unfortunately 
for his country, died in October 18ol, still in the prime of man- 
hood, broken down in health probably by the strange anomalies of 
his position. This prince, who once described himself as being- 
when among his countrymen a civilised man among- semi-bar- 
barians, and as feeling- himself when in the society of western 
Europeans as a semi-barbarian among- civilised men, formed indeed 
a striking- contrast to his people, for only the former half of this 
description of himself was true. Educated partly in Dalmatia 
and partly in Russia, being- possessed of natural abilities of a rare 
order, coupled with a highly poetic temperament and great sensi- 
bility, and having- spent his youth among- the refined society of 
European capitals, he was suddenly, in his eig-hteenth year, called 
to reign over a people so sunk in barbarism, that, in order to 
g-overn them, he was obliged in a measure to lower himself to 
their level. How many a hard and bitter struggle must this 
prince have g-one through during- his rule of twenty years ! — how 
many a disappointment must he not, have endured in the course of 
his many attempts to civilise his obstinate and prejudiced people ! — 
yet he persisted unswervingly in his endeavours to the last, sus- 
tained, not by the love of fame and glory, for he was of a g-entle, 
unambitious turn of mind, but by true patriotism and benevolence. 
The discordance between this vladika's position and his character 
lias been well summed up, by one who knew him personally, in 
the following- words : — ' He is a poet, who in literary taste and 
judgment greatly exceeds many of our literary men, and he is at 
the same time a statesman, a legislator, and a ruler ; he is a shep- 
herd of the Christian Church, and at the same time the leader 
of an army of 20,000 warriors armed to the teeth ; he has a taste 
and love for all that is beautiful, and is peculiarly open to gentle 
impressions, and his only companions are his wild iJcrianiclii or 
guards ; he is young- and handsome, and longs for domestic ties 
and the joys of family life, and he is a monk and a hermit ; he 
has travelled much, and is familiar with the luxury of civilised 
life ; and a large metropolis, full of treasures of literature, science, 
and art would probably be the most congenial place of residence to 
him, but fate has bound him, like Prometheus, to a barren rock, 
where even his dwelling comprises none of the comforts or ele- 
gances so dear to a refined mind, and where he can enjoy no 
mental companionship whatsoever.' 

As regards his relations to the princes of Europe, the vladika of 

25 



MONTENEGRO AND THE MONTENEGRINS. 

Montenegro was in an almost equally constrained and painful posi- 
tion. His dominions are situated at the extreme point of contact of 
the three great empires of Eastern Europe, neither of which has as 
yet officially recognised Montenegro as a legally constituted inde- 
pendent state, having- a claim to be treated in conformity with all 
the rules of the law of nations relative to such. Turkey, on the 
contrary, looks upon the Montenegrins as rebels, whom it is the 
duty of the government to bring into due subjection whenever an 
opportunity offers; and such was thought to exist a few months 
ago, and was eagerly seized, but once more without avail. This 
time, however, it seems that the Montenegrins owe their safety to 
Austrian intervention as much as to their own bravery ; and the 
position of Austria with regard to Montenegro is indeed such, that 
at first sight she might, be deemed the natural protector of these 
hardy mountaineers. As a Christian power, and one which h;is 
at various periods suffered severely from the attacks of the Os- 
manlis, Austria cannot but feel a deep interest in this little rocky 
country, against which the waves of Moslem invasion have always 
broken in vain ; and she cannot be supposed to be blind to its 
importance as a breastwork of defence, as well as an advanced 
post of attack, against a power with which, as a near neighbour, 
she is always more or less exposed to come into hostile collision ; 
and her recent intervention in the quarrel between Montenegro 
and Turkej', proves, indeed, that the attention of her statesmen is 
awake upon this point. There are, however, various circumstances 
that prevent the establishment of a perfectly cordial understanding 
between the two countries. In the first place, the circumstance of 
the Montenegrins being overfond of depredatory incursions into 
the territories of their neighbours, and not very scrupulous as to 
whether the neighbour be called friend or foe, Austria or Turkey, 
keeps up a constant feeling of irritation against them among the 
Austrian authorities ; and besides this, the Montenegrins have one 
point of political ambition which clashes directly with the interests 
of Austria. During the European war at the commencement of 
this century, the Montenegrins held for a time possession of the 
seaports on the Adriatic called the Bocca di Oattaro, and were 
fully alive to the facilities thus opened up to them for commercial 
intercourse with the rest of Europe ; and although the Congress of 
Vienna transferred these ports to Austria, and again caged up the 
Montenegrins in their mountain fastnesses, the latter have not 
ceased to look upon the littoral at the foot of their mountains as a 
territory which ought by right to be theirs; and these views are 
rendered the more threatening to Austria, as the kindred Slavonic 
tribes of the Bocca di Cattaro are said not to be adverse to the 
idea of joining Montenegro. Besides this, there exist strong reli- 
gious sympathies between the subjects of Austria belonging to the 
Greek Church and the Montenegrins, who pretend that their 
vladika is the legitimate ecclesiastical head of the Greek and 
Austrian Albanians ; and should this supremacy ever be recognised 
fig 



MONTENEGRO AND THE MONTENEGRINS. 

by the latter themselves, they would thus not only be held in 
a kind of subserviency to Montenegro, but also to Russia, whose 
religious supremacy the Montenegrins have practically recognised 
since it became usual for the vladikas to proceed to St Petersburg* 
to receive the episcopal consecration, instead of, as originally, to 
Servia. These circumstances of course necessitate, on the part of 
Austria, not only a friendly, but also an energetic bearing; towards 
Montenegro, and has rendered her desirous of obtaining- a more 
favourable position towards that country than is afforded even by 
the present frontier regulations, which were established in 1840, 
and which, though affording- the Austrians greater advantages 
than before, still leave the Montenegrins in possession of the 
heights commanding- the littoral, where it is Austria's ambition to 
plant her standard. 

Of the existence of this desire on the part of the Austrians, the 
Montenegrins are quite aware, and have thus come to look upon 
that people with feelings almost as hostile as those they entertain 
towards the Turks ; while to Russia — so distant that their indepen- 
dence, it would seem, can hardly be threatened by her — they look 
for protection where their own bravery does not suffice. But here, 
as elsewhere, it is by stealthy diplomatic means that Russia prepares 
her conquests ; and in addition to the influence which the tzars have 
enjoyed in Montenegro ever since the establishment of the nominal 
protectorate over the country, the Russian government succeeded 
in placing the late vladika in a state of pecuniary dependence, by 
inducing him to accept of an annual subsidy of 40,000 gulden, to 
enable him to defray the salaries of the senators, the perianichi, 
and the serdars, and to establish an influence over the chief fami- 
lies, without whose aid he could have but little hope of carrying 
out the reforms he contemplated. That in her advances towards 
Montenegro, Russia is chiefly mindful of her own interests there 
can be little doubt ; and however gratified the Montenegrins may 
feel at the friendship of their mighty Slavonic kinsman, this 
friendship is therefore but a new danger that threatens their inde- 
pendence. When we take into consideration all the circumstances 
here alluded to, and remember what political events are probably 
preparing in the territories amidst which Montenegro is situated, 
and what are the strategical advantages of this situation, we may 
easily conceive the importance which this country, though so 
insignificant in point of geographical extent, has attained in the 
eyes of the statesmen of Europe ; and we learn to understand why 
it is that a new feud between the Montenegrins and the Turks 
should for a moment almost have assumed the character of a 
European question. 

For some time, the Montenegrins have been anxious again to 
separate the civil from the ecclesiastical rulership in their country, 
in order to be able to establish an hereditary dynasty; but Russia, 
fearing thereby to lose some of her means of influence, for a long 
while refused her consent to the innovation. Of late, however, 

27 



MONTENEGRO AND THE MONTENEGRINS. 

she has changed her policy on this head, and lias consented that 
Daniel Petrovich, of the family of Niegush, the nephew of the 
late vladika, Peter Petrovich, and Avho was by him designated as 
his successor, shall be recognised as the legal sovereign of Monte- 
negro, without receiving the ecclesiastical investiture. Prince 
Daniel, who is only twenty-five years of age, may thus marry, 
and transmit his dignity to his sons. 

In conclusion, we will give the account of an eye-witness* of 
the return of Prince Daniel to Montenegro last year, after a visit 
to St Petersburg, whither he had gone to solicit the sanction of the 
tzar to his succession under the altered conditions — an account 
in which all the characteristic traits of the Montenegrins stand 
prominently forward : — 

' The Montenegrins had been informed that their young prince 
would soon be there ; and the president of »the senate, Pero 
Petrovich — brother of the late vladika, and uncle of Prince Daniel 
— together with many of the chiefs, elders, and other Montene- 
grins, proceeded to Cattaro, on the 1st of July, to receive him. The 
woiivode, or captain of Niegush, and the senator Ivo Nadovich, 
were despatched to Castelnuovo, to welcome the prince immediately 
on the steamer entering the Bay of Cattaro. When the steamer 
approached Cattaro, the president of the senate, Pero, went on 
board and embraced the prince with these words : "Hail now and 
evermore!" Immediately afterwards the whole bay was covered 
with boats hurrying towards the steamer, and from which the 
Montenegrins fired joyful salutes, which were answered from other 
swarms on the sea-shore until the prince gave orders that they 
should cease. All then hurried up the sides of the steamer to 
greet the prince. The crowd became still greater when Daniel 
landed. Some kissed his hand, others the hem of his garment, as 
they were able to press forward. 

1 In this manner the prince was conducted with the liveliest 
demonstrations of joy to the house that had been prepared for him. 
I observed among the chiefs and elders of Montenegro, Noviza 
Cerovich, from Drobniah, who in 1848 commanded the uskoks 
who attacked and killed the brave but unpopular Turkish chief, 
Smail Aga Tschengich, in Drobniah, for which reason he was 
obliged to fly to Montenegro, where he now holds the position of 
senator. 

' The following morning, we commenced the journey to Tzetinie. 
The prince, his uncle Noviza, and some few more, travelled on 
horseback up the winding mountain-path ; the others climbed on 
foot, and with the agility of chamois, up the rugged sides of the 
mountain, which is about the same height as Mount Vesuvius. 
The number of men forming the procession was so great, that the 
last had not left Cattaro when the first was already half-way up 
the mountain. The tiring of rifles was incessant, as is the case on 

* A South Slavonian correspondent of the Augsburg Gazette. 
28 



MONTENEGRO AND THE MONTENEGRINS. 

every festive occasion among- these manly children of nature. On 
the summit of the mountain, the prince was received by fresh 
troops of Montenegrins, who also greeted him with volleys from 
their rifles. Here the mass separated. The greater number 
proceeded to Niegush, the birthplace of the prince's family; but 
Daniel and the chiefs entered the house of the captain of Niegush, 
Prorokovich, where he was to dine. Now, you must not picture 
to yourself a great European banquet, or a banquet of any kind 
according to the fashion of modern times, but rather a Homeric 
hero's, or, if you will, a shepherd's meal — simple and frugal. In a 
large room, without a stove, the guests were first served with cold 
water, coffee without milk, and reiki — a kind of spirits. After this, 
a table, formed of rough planks, low. and as long- as the room, was 
laid with a cloth, and round it were placed very low wooden 
benches. Prince Daniel sat at the head of the table; and he 
and those who sat nearest him were provided with the ordinary 
European appurtenances of a dinner-table; but further down the 
table several guests had to share plate, goblet, and spoon, all of 
wood : every one used his own knife, and forks there were none. 
The first dish served up consisted of lamb stewed with rice; then 
came boiled mutton: after this, roast lamb and ham, and then 
cheese. On retiring from table, the greater number of the guests 
fired off their rifles, saying': "We must thank our host, or it 
would look as if we were not pleased with the cheer, or were 
ungrateful." 

• Prince Daniel next proceeded to the village of Nieg-ush, where 
he visited each one of his relatives, and in each cottage, wine, 
coffee, and melons were offered to the visitors. On the further 
journey from Niegush to Tzetinie, the prince was received on 
every new mountain-ridge by troops of his subjects, who, as 
usual, tired off their rifles as a salute. In the plain of Tzetinie, 
outside the village, the vice-president and several members of the 
senate, together with a crowd of less distinguished Montenegrins, 
came forward to wish him welcome ; and here they were not con- 
tent with rifles, but a few cannon-shots were fired in his honour. 
The next day divine service was performed in the church; 
and as the prince and the notables attended, the people crowded 
thither in such numbers that the church could not hold one-tenth 
part of them. After the service, the vice-president of the senate 
read to the people assembled outside the prince's dwelling, a docu- 
ment addressed to Prince Daniel by the Russian government, in 
which it was said : " that, in consideration of the petitions of the 
senate and people of Montenegro, his majesty the emperor of 
Russia had consented that Prince Daniel should not enter the 
ecclesiastical order, but might, nevertheless, continue to be the 
chief ruler of the state." Prince Daniel was further permitted to 
select another to be bishop in his stead, who should have the 
exclusive direction of the ecclesiastical affairs of the principality ; 
and he was exhorted to live in harmonv with his Turkish and 



MONTENEGRO AND THE MONTENEGRINS. 

Austrian neighbours, &c. After this document had heen read 
out aloud in the Russian and the Servian languages, the prince 
distributed the orders and medals which he had brought with him 
from Russia. 

1 When this was over, Daniel returned to his residence. This 
is a house, two stories high, built by the late vladika, and contain- 
ing' some nine or ten rooms, two of which only, tog-ether with the 
adjoining- billiard-room, are occupied by the prince, who follows 
herein the example of his predecessor; the other rooms are occu- 
pied by the secretaries, aid-de-camp, &c. The billiard-room or 
gilliarda, as it is called by the people, serves as assembly-room, 
council-room, court-hall, and audience-room ; and when more serious 
matters are not going on, also as dining-room and smoking- 
room, &c. The furniture consists of a billiard-table in the middle 
of the room, a sofa covered with leather, one arm-chair, a table in 
one corner, several small chairs, and a wooden bench along- one of 
the walls. Even into this place the crowd followed the prince, and 
in a little while the room was full to overflowing- with people who 
wished to see him and to speak to him. He conversed with them 
regarding 1 the manner in which he meant to conduct the govern- 
ment, about the obedience and submission he expected from them ; 
and he listened to the complaints that were brought before him, 
and was even obliged, in some cases, to give judgment upon the 
spot. One person present, for instance, complained that he owed 
a dollar to a perianic, and had been by law enjoined to pay it 
hack, but instead of doing this he had pledged his gun ; but now 
that he brought the dollar and wanted his gun returned, the 
perianic refused to give up the gun unless he paid the interest on 
the money, as well as the principal. The prince's judgment was 
to the effect, that the perianic should give up the gun, and that he 
had no just claim to interest, as he had not lent the other man 
ready money. 

1 Fatigued by this constant talking, the prince at length left the 
house, and went into the open air, but here again the people flocked 
around him. If he sat down on one of the stone-benches outside 
the houses, some of the leaders among the people directly seated 
themselves beside him and opposite to him, and the rest formed a 
circle around them, the foremost squatting down on their heels to 
allow the others a full sight of him ; and then recommenced the 
same scenes as in the billiarda. 

* The words of Prince Daniel to his subjects on these various 
occasions were pretty nearly as follow : — " From this day forward, 
no man shall be assassinated or executed in the dark of night, 
after the fashion of bandits ; but when a Tzernagorki has deserved 
punishment of death, and the punishment is to be executed, the 
people shall be informed of his crime, and of the mode and time of 
his execution. Secret denunciations will hereafter not be tolerated. 
He who denounces another, shall not be allowed to withdraw until 
he has been confronted with the accused. He who, when in the 

30 



MONTENEGRO AND THE MONTENEGRINS. 

judge's seat, receives a bribe, if it be only of the value of a para, I 
will immediately dismiss from his office, whether he be a senator, 
serdar, or perianic — and such a man must give up all hope of ever 
again obtaining- office. In like manner I will punish every peria- 
nic who, when sent out to execute the sentences of the law, or to 
levy taxes, or to discover crime, shall demand or receive more than 
is legully due to him. Such thing's have already taken place. 
Thus, for instance, the perianic Ivo Radonich, and one of his 
companions, have extorted from a man some goats, that were 
worth five times as much as the legal claim upon him." 

'On hearing- these words, Ivo Radonich rose from the bench on 
which he was seated, at some distance from the prince, took off 
his cap, and said : " True it is, prince, that I have done this ; but 
had any one then spoken to us as you have now done, I would 
never have ventured to do such a thing-. At that time each one 
only thought of how he could best till his house and his purse. 
In truth, I did not otherwise than others." 

'The prince continued, telling- them that in future justice should 
be evenly dealt out among- all Montenegrins, not even excepting- 
his own nearest relatives, for that all Montenegrins were equal; 
and he furthermore announced, that it was his intention to publish 
a new book of laws, by means of which he would be able to do 
them much good, and would be prevented from doing- them any 
injustice; and also that, in future, each tribe should elect a perianic 
from among- its members, instead of the perianic being-, as before, 
nominated by the prince. The prince also expressed a strong- 
desire to live at peace with his neighbours, and said that he would 
forbid his subjects, under heavy penalties, to make inroads on the 
Turkish frontiers. 

1 At the time, no one contradicted him, but the displeasure of 
those who had hitherto lived by war and rapine was very evident; 
and one man in particular, who was known to the prince as one of 
the greatest depredators, said : " Heyday! what are we, then, to 
live on? Why, this is our ploughing- and our sowing, our digging 
and our harvest ; in a word, it is our only source of income." 

' I also heard Prince Daniel say, that he would introduce a tax, 
which every Tzernagorki should pay, according' to his means; 
adding, it was not he, but the country that required the money, and 
that for the benefit of the country it would be applied. He would 
thus, he said, establish popular schools, introduce from abroad able 
schoolmasters, let the children be educated at the expense of the 
state, extend and improve the existing printing establishment, 
build roads, &c. 

1 During all the days that I remained in Tzernagora, and, as I 
have learned, during- a whole month after that, new troops of 
people came daily to see and talk to their young prince, who, 
besides speaking to them in the most friendly manner, g-ave each 
a small present of money. One day, however, when the people 
had nocked around him, the prince, who is small of stature, but 

31 



MONTENEGRO AND THE MONTENEGRINS. 

who is very active, and of a lively, energetic temperament, said to 
them : " Look well at me, for, small and insignificant as I now 
appear among you, I will, if you do not obey me, approve myself 
to you greater and heavier than the mountain Lootje. If you 
prevent me from becoming celebrated for my goodness, I will be 
so for my severity.''' ' 

Such of our readers as are acquainted with Greek literature, 
have no doubt been struck with the resemblance between these 
wild mountaineers of the present day and the Greeks of the time 
of Homer ; and, apart from the grave political considerations 
which attach to the position of Montenegro, this little country and 
its inhabitants, indeed, derive their chief interest from the living- 
picture which they afford of that semi-barbarous state of societ}' 
through which every people has passed on its way to a higher 
degree of civilisation, and from the light which their condition 
thus throws upon the past history of many nations. So struck 
was Mr Kohl with the resemblance of the Montenegrins to the 
Greeks of the Homeric period, that lie advises all artists who 
would furnish illustrations to Homer's poems, and all philologists 
who would write commentaries upon these poems, first to pay a 
visit to Montenegro and the Montenegrins. 





HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 




HE origin, growth, and present condition of 
the singular sect calling* themselves the ' Church 
of Latter-day Saints,' form a curious and instruc- 
tive chapter in the history of fanaticism. "Within 
the space of twenty years since they first sprung into 
existence, they have gone on rapidly increasing in 
influence and numbers, and are now an established 
^UOv and organised society, amounting to not less than 300,000 
iv ^\ people. They have borne the brunt of calumny and misre- 
presentation, endured the severest persecutions, and, in spite 
of every conceivable obstruction, triumphantly vindicated the 
earnestness and sincerity of their mistaken faith, and the practical 
objects which they have considered it their special mission to realise 
in the world. Their progress within the last ten years has been 
extraordinarily rapid, and is utterly unparalleled in the history of 
any other body of religionists. They are now a distinct and 
No. 53. 1 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

peculiar community, with a complete and effective organisation ; 
they possess and enjoy in common great wealth and material 
resources; their final settlement of Utah or Deseret, in New 
California, is in the highest degree flourishing-, peaceable, and 
orderly; and they appear not unlikely to become an important 
and independent nation, whose influence, politically and socially, 
may be expected to affect, and possibly to modify, the older and 
neighbouring forms of civilisation. To trace the beginning's and 
progressive advancements of so remarkable a people, and thus to 
render their opinions, actions, sufferings, and successes familiar to 
a more extensive class of readers, may be considered work not 
unsuitable for us in the present pag*es ; and therefore, with as 
much impartiality, soberness, and fair appreciation as may be at 
our command, and without any disposition or temptation to speak 
contemptuously of their peculiarities, we will here endeavour to 
represent these much-derided Mormons and their proceedings in 
such a way as shall seem warranted by their actual character 
and achievements. 

It is generally known that the founder and acknowledged 
'prophet 7 of this people was a young* man named Joseph Smith. 
Between twenty and thirty years ago, when he first attracted 
notice, he was living with his father on a small farm near the town 
of Manchester, in the state of New York. He is said to have been 
a person of a loose and irregular way of life, and this was afterwards 
urged as an objection to his pretensions ; but he used to reply con- 
fidently, that he had never done anything so bad as was reported 
of King David, whom his orthodox enemies could not consistently 
deny to have been ' a man after God's own heart. 7 That he was a 
good deal of a sinner, there is sufficient reason to believe, but yet 
it does not appear that he was given up for any length of time to 
habitual and confirmed wickedness. Very early in life he had 
decided impressions of the religious sort, and his mind seems from 
the first to have taken a fanatical and enthusiastic turn. We are 
told that when he was ' about fourteen or fifteen years of age, he 
began seriously to reflect upon the necessity of being prepared for a 
future state of existence. 7 He used to retire to a secret place in a 
grove, a short distance from his father's house, and there occupy 
himself for many hours in prayer and meditation. Once when 
so engaged, he ' saw a very bright and glorious light in the 
heavens above, which at first seemed to be at a considerable 
distance ; 7 but as he continued praying, ' the light appeared to be 
gradually descending towards him, and as it drew nearer, it 
increased in brightness and magnitude, so that by the time it 
reached the tops of the trees, the whole wilderness around was 
illuminated in a most glorious and brilliant manner. 7 The account 
of this vision, which is given by a Mormon apostle, Mr Orson 
Pratt, goes on to say, that the light ' continued descending slowly, 
until it rested upon the earth, and he was enveloped in the midst of 
it. When it first came upon him, it produced a peculiar sensation 
2 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

throughout his whole system; and immediately his mind was 
lit away from the natural objects with which he was sur- 
rounded, and he was inwrapped in a heavenly vision, and saw 
two glorious personages, who exactly resembled each other in 
their features and likeness.' These wondrous beings informed 
him that his sins were forgiven ; and they furthermore disclosed 
to him, that all the existing religious denominations were l believ- 
ing in incorrect doctrines;' and that, consequently, 'none of them 
was acknowledged of God as his church and kingdom.' He was 
expressly forbidden to attach himself to any of them, and received 
a promise that in due time ' the true doctrine, the fulness of the 
gospel,' should be graciously revealed to him ; ' after which the 
vision withdrew, leaving his mind in a state of calmness and 
peace indescribable.' 

But inasmuch as Joseph was very young, and was assailed from 
time to time by those inevitable temptations which beset the carnal 
mind, he subsequently became ' entangled in the vanities of the 
world,' and for awhile demeaned himself so much like a ' vessel 
of dishonour,' as to be rendered temporarily unfit for seeing visions. 
Moved eventually, however, to repentance and amendment, and 
again devoting himself to the habit of secret prayer, this gift 
again returned to him. On the 21st of September 1823, the 
miraculous light reappeared, and ' it seemed as though the house 
was filled with consuming fire.' Its sudden appearance, as afore- 
time, ' occasioned a shock of sensation ; ' and what is more remark- 
able, we learn that it was ' visible to the extremities of the body/ 
This time only a single l personage' stood before him. ' His 
countenance was as lightning,' yet of so ' pleasing, innocent, and 
glorious an appearance,' that, as the visionary beheld it, every fear 
banished from his heart, and an indescribable serenity per- 
vaded and possessed his soul. ' This glorious being declared 
himself to be an angel of God, sent forth by commandment to 
communicate to him that his sins were forgiven, and that his 
prayers were heard ; and also to bring the joyful tidings, that the 
covenant which God made with ancient Israel concerning their 
posterity, was at hand to be fulfilled ; that the great preparatory 
work for the second coming of the Messiah was speedily to com- 
mence ; that the time was at hand for the gospel in its fulness to 
be preached in power unto all nations, that a people might be 
prepared with faith and righteousness for the millennial reign of 
universal peace and joy.' The reader, doubtless, is now prepared 
to hear, that on this occasion Joseph received an intimation that 
he was i called and chosen to be an instrument in the hands of 
God to bring about some of his marvellous purposes in this glorious 
dispensation.' By way of preparing him for the work, the brilliant 
'personage' gave him some verbal revelations, informing him, 
amongst other things, that the American Indians were a remnant 
of Israel; that when they originally emigrated to America they 
were a pious and enlightened people, enjoying the peculiar favour 

3 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

and blessing" of God ; that prophets and inspired writers had been 
appointed to keep a sacred history of events transpiring- among* 
them ; that the said history was handed down for many genera- 
tions, till at length the people fell into great wickedness, and 
afterwards the records were hidden, 'to preserve them from the 
hands of the wicked/ who were seeking to destroy them ; that 
these records contained ' many sacred revelations pertaining to the 
gospel of the kingdom, as well as prophecies relating to the great 
events of the last days;' and that, finally, the time was come 
when, to accomplish the divine purposes, they were to be brought 
forth to the knowledge of the people. Joseph Smith was given to 
understand that, if he should prove faithful, he was to be the 
instrument favoured in bringing these sacred writings before the 
world. And with this announcement the shining personage di.-- 
appeared, although he seems to have come back twice in the course 
of the night to repeat his communication, and to add a thing or 
two he had forgotten. 

Up to this time Joseph Smith had been in the habit of working* 
on his father's farm, and on the morning after this vision he went 
to his labour as usual, apparently not supposing that his mission 
as a messenger of a new and peculiar gospel was yet to be com- 
menced. But while he was at work, the angel again appeared 
to him, and gave him direct instructions to go and 'view the 
records,' which for many ages had been deposited in a place 
which was pointed out to him. This was ' on the west side of a 
hill, not far from the top,' about four miles from Palmyra, in the 
county of Mayne, and near the mail-road, which leads thence to 
the little town of Manchester. Oliver Cowdery, a 'witness of 
the faith,' who visited the spot in 1830, has favoured us with 
a minute description of it, mingled with various of his personal 
speculations concerning the position of the records at the time 
they were discovered. He says, innocently : ' How far below 
the surface these records were placed I am unable to say; but 
from the fact that they had been some 1400 years, and that, too, 
on the side of a hill so steep, one is ready to conclude that the}' 
were some feet below.' Oliver is willing to ' leave every man to 
draw his own conclusion,' and proceeds : ' Suffice to say, a hole of 
sufficient depth was dug.' At the bottom of this was found 'a 
stone of suitable size, the upper surface being smooth; at each 
edge was placed a large quantity of cement, and into this cement, 
at the four edges of this stone were placed, erect, four others, their 
bottom edges resting in the cement at the outer edges of the first 
stone. The four last named, when placed erect, formed a box ; the 
corners, or where the edges of the four came in contact, were also 
cemented so firmly, that the moisture from without was prevented 

from entering The box was sufficiently large to admit a 

breastplate, such as was used by the ancients to defend the chest 
from the arrows and weapons of their enemy. From the bottom 
of the box, or from the breastplate, arose three small pillars, 

4 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

composed of the same description of cement used on the edges ; 
and upon these three pillars were placed the records.' 

While contemplating- this extraordinary treasure with great 
astonishment, Joseph Smith became aware of the presence of the 
angel who had previously visited him, and who now, with due 
solemnity, called on him to ' Look ! ' ' And as he thus spake/ 
says the Mormonite apostle before quoted, ' he beheld the Prince 
of Darkness, surrounded by his innumerable train of associates. 
All this passed before him, and the heavenly messenger said : 
" All this is shewn, the good and the evil, the holy and 
impure, the glory of God and the power of darkness, that you 
may know hereafter the two powers, and never be influenced or 
overcome by the wicked one. You cannot at this time obtain 
this record, for the commandment of God is strict, and if ever 
these sacred things are obtained, they must be by prayer and 
faithfulness in obeying the Lord. They are not deposited here 
for the sake of accumulating gain and wealth for the glory of this 
world, they were sealed by the prayer of faith, and because of the 
knowledge which they contain ; they are of no worth among the 
children of men only for their knowledge. In them is contained 
the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as it was given to 
his people on this land ; and when it shall be brought forth by the 
power of God, it shall be carried to the Gentiles, of whom many 
will receive it ; and after will the seed of Israel be brought into 
the field of their Redeemer by obeying it also." ' 

Joseph had to wait four years before the records were finally 
delivered by the angel into his hands. During that time, how- 
ever, he had numerous interviews with the ' heavenly messenger/ 
and ' frequently received instructions' from his mouth. At length, 
on the morning of the 22d of September 1827, when he was about 
two-and-twenty years of age, he was formally permitted to take 
possession of his discovery. ' These records,' says our authority, 
Mr Pratt, ' were engraved on plates which had the appearance of 
gold. Each plate was not far from seven by eight inches in 
width and length, being not quite as thick as common tin. They 
were filled on both sides with engravings in Egyptian characters, 
and bound together in a volume as the leaves of a book, and 
fastened at one edge with three rings running through the whole. 
This volume was something near six inches in thickness, a part of 
which was sealed. The characters or letters upon the unsealed 
part were small and beautifully engraved. The whole book 
exhibited many marks of antiquity in its construction, as well as 
much skill in the art of engraving. With the records was found 

a curious instrument, called by the ancients the Uriin and 
Thummim, which consisted of two transparent stones, clear as 
crystal, set in the two rims of a bow. This was in use in ancient 
times by persons called seers. It was an instrument, by the use 
of which they received revelation of things distant, or of things 
past, or future." ' 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

Being- in an unknown tongue, the book required to be translated 
before its contents could be intelligibly communicated to mankind ; 
and Joseph having- now provided for himself a separate home, 
Straightway commenced turning- this ancient record into what 
he probably regarded as the ' American language.' It seems he 
translated ' by the gift and power of God, through the means of 
the Urim and Thummim ; and being a poor writer, he was under 
the necessity of employing a scribe to write the translation as it 
came from his mouth.' In this way the work proceeded, as Mr 
Smith's ' pecuniary circumstances would permit,' until he had 
finished what he describes as the ' unsealed portion of the records.' 
This is that part of Joseph's revelations which is styled the 
Book of Mormon, the recognised Bible of the Latter-day Saints, 
and which is deemed by them of equal authority with the Hebrew 
and Christian Scriptures, and represented to contain that ' fulness 
of the gospel' which was to be revealed in the latter days. 

When this astonishing volume was completed, and lay at length 
legibly in fair manuscript, there arose an obvious difficulty respect- 
ing its publication. As no man is accounted a prophet in his own 
country, who would believe the miraculous story about its origin, 
and the way in which the work had been brought to light ? H ow 
was any one to know that it was not utterly a fabrication, and that 
Joseph Smith, junior, was not an arrant knave and impostor? 
Assuredly there ought to be witnesses to testify concerning the 
facts set forth, and vouch in some sort for the credibility of Mr 
Joseph Smith's pretensions. This circumstance was accordingly 
provided for ; witnesses, such as could be got, were providentially 
'raised up' in the persons of Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, 
and Martin Harris ; and the testimony which they sent forth was 
to the effect, that the original plates had been shewn to them by an 
angel. This statement was presently supported by eight other wit- 
nesses, who testify expressly that 'Joseph Smith, junior, the trans- 
lator of this work, has shewn unto us the plates of which hath been 
spoken, which have the appearance of gold ; as many of the leaves 
as the said Smith has translated, we did handle 'with our hands ; 
.... and we know of a surety that the said Smith has got the plates 
.... and we give our names unto the world of that which we have 
seen ; and we lie not, God bearing witness to it.' It might strike 
a sceptic as a suspicious circumstance, that the l eight,' with one 
exception, belong to two families, evidently on terms of intimacy 
with each other ; and further, that three of them belong to the 
family of Joseph Smith — being, in fact, his father and two brothers : 
but this, to a genuine believer in the prophet's claims, no doubt 
appears to be a consideration of no manner of moment. Certain 
it is, that from this point Joseph rises before us as the conspicuous 
founder of a sect, and begins to draw after him no inconsiderable 
number of converts. 

Having made known his doctrine and pretensions to various 
persons, it was not unnatural that the wonderful plates should 

6 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

be a good deal talked about, and that some should even hesitate 
to believe unless they might be permitted to get sight of them. 
It was this difficulty which seems to have first suggested the 
publication of the statements of the witnesses. Among the first 
three, it will be seen, stands the name of Martin Harris ; who — 
though in the subscribed document he professes to have seen the 
plates — was clearly not so privileged at the time when he first 
shewed a disposition to join the sect. Martin Harris was a farmer, 
whose religious opinions had for a long while been unsettled ; he 
having been successively a member of the Society of Friends, a 
Wesleyan, a Baptist, and a Presbyterian ; and on making Joseph 
Smith's acquaintance, was already prepared for another change. 
Having ' more credulity than judgment/ he was at once captivated 
by the doctrines and pretensions of the youthful prophet, and 
generously lent him fifty dollars to enable him to translate and 
publish his new Bible. While the work of translation was going 
on, Harris often desired to see the plates ; but Joseph, with more 
than a prophet's cautiousness, invariably refused to shew them, 
alleging, as a sufficient reason for the refusal, that Mr Harris was 
1 not of pure heart enough ' to be allowed a sight of such extra- 
ordinary treasures. However, he at length consented to make a 
transcript of a portion of them on paper, and presenting him with 
this, he told him that if he wished to be satisfied about the character 
of it, he might submit it to any learned scholar in the world. 
Smith could hardly have anticipated the consequences of this pro- 
ceeding. Martin Harris, being an earnest man, went off with the 
paper to New York, and obtained an introduction to Professor 
Anthon, a gentleman well known both in America and Europe for 
his serviceable editions of the classics. The result of the interview 
was not known until three or four years afterwards, when the 
Book of Mormon, apparently through Mr Harris's assistance, 
had been published. Then, as a report was spread abroad by the 
Mormons that the professor had seen the plates, and pronounced 
the inscriptions to be in the Egyptian character, that gentleman 
was requested to declare whether such was actually the fact. In 
a letter written in February 1834, the professor says distinctly 
that the whole story is a falsehood. Some years before, Martin 
Harris had called on him with a paper filled with ' all kinds of 
crooked characters, disposed in columns, 7 which ' had evidently 
been prepared by some person who had before him at the time a 
book containing various alphabets :' there were rude distortions 
of Greek and Hebrew letters ; Roman letters inverted or placed 
sideways ; with crosses, and flourishes interspersed throughout ; and 
'the whole ended with a rude delineation of a circle, divided into 
compartments, decked with various strange marks, and evidently 
copied after the Mexican calendar, given by Humboldt, but copied 
in such a way as not to betray the source whence it was derived.' 
Some time after, the farmer paid him a second visit, bringing 
with him the printed Book of Mormon, of which he begged the 

7 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

professor to take a copy. That gentleman endeavoured to convince 
him that he had been imposed upon, and advised him to apply to 
a magistrate, and get the thing- investigated. Harris, however, 
expressed a fear that if he did so 'the curse of God' would come 
upon him. But on being- pressed, he said that he would take 
steps to have the matter examined into, if the professor would 
take the ' curse ' upon himself. To this the latter good-naturedly 
consented, and the poor man took his leave in a state of much 
hesitation and perplexity. 

One can perceive from this what sort of stuff Mr Harris's head 
was made of, and can readily judge of the value of his ' testimony' 
in regard to Mormonism and its pretensions. The presumption 
is, that the other witnesses were persons of similarly confused 
minds, or that they consciously participated in a fraud. At any- 
rate, we do not find that any other individuals, Mormonites or 
otherwise, ever professed to have seen the plates ; and certainly, 
of late years, all knowledge or account of them has been confessedly 
traditional. When unbelievers sa} r : ' Shew us the g-old plates, 
the original records of the Book of Mormon,' the Mormonite 
replies : ' Shew us the original manuscripts of any part of the Old 
or New Testaments,' and conceives that to be sufficient to silence 
all gainsayers. As to the book itself, the Mormons implicitly 
accept it ; its origin and authenticity, as Smith and his associates 
have represented them, are matters of pure faith ; no true Mor- 
monite entertains a doubt about the genuineness or plenary inspi- 
ration of the volume. The general belief concerning it is thus 
summed up by one of the l apostles,' in a publication called the 
Voice of Warning : — ' The Book of Mormon contains the history 
of the ancient inhabitants of America, who were a branch of the 
house of Israel, of the tribe of Joseph, of whom the Indians are 
still a remnant ; but the principal nation of them having fallen in 
battle in the fourth or fifth century, one of their prophets, whose 
name was Mormon, saw fit to make an abridgment of their history, 
their prophecies, and their doctrine, which he engraved on plates, 
and afterwards being* slain, the records fell into the hands of his 
son Moroni, who, being hunted by his enemiesj was directed to 
deposit the record safely in the earth, with a promise from God 
that it should be preserved, and should be brought to light in the 
latter days by means of a Gentile nation who should possess the 
land. The deposit was made about the year 420, on a hill then 
called Cumora, now in Ontario County, where it was preserved in 
safety until it was brought to light by no less than the ministry 
of angels, and translated by inspiration. And the great Jehovah 
bare record of the same to chosen witnesses, who declare it to the 
world.' 

Overlooking the incidental statement of Professor Anthon, the 
account so far given of the Book of Mormon will be understood 
to be that of the Mormonites themselves ; but there remains to be 
presented another relation of its origin, which the American 

8 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

opponents of Mormonism consider to be the true one. According* 
to this account, it would appear that, in the year 1809, u man of 
the name of Solomon Spaulding-, who had formerly been a clergy- 
man, and had afterwards failed in business, having- his attention 
attracted by the notion, which at that time excited some interest 
and discussion, that the North American Indians were descendants 
of the lost ten tribes of Israel, it struck him that the idea migiit be 
turned to account as the groundwork of a religious novel. He 
accordingly set about a work of that description, which he entitled, 
The Manuscript Found ; and labouring* at it at intervals for three 
years, he in that time completed it. Two of the principal charac- 
ters in this production are Mormon and his son Moroni — the same 
who act so larg-e a part in Joseph Smith's Book of Mormon. The 
reason for this coincidence will presently appear. In the year 
1812, Spaulding" shewed his manuscript to a printer named Patter- 
son, residing* at Pittsburgh, in Pennsylvania ; but before any 
satisfactory arrangement had been made in regard to its publica- 
tion, the author died, and the manuscript is said to have remained 
for some time thereafter in Mr Patterson's possession. While 
here, it came under the notice of a compositor in his employ, 
named Sidney Rig-don, who was also a preacher in connection 
with some Christian sect, whose proper designation has not been 
stated. Rig-don appears to have borrowed the manuscript, and, 
according* to one account, it would seem to have been in his hands 
when Mr Patterson died in 1826. Spaulding-'s widow, however, 
states that it had been returned to her husband before his death in 
1816, and that it was subsequently read by several of her friends. 
But after her husband's decease, she seems to have spent the next 
three years in visiting* her friends in different parts of the States ; 
and during- this period the manuscript was left at her brother's, 
somewhere near the residence of the Smiths. Whether Rig-don 
had, as she asserts, taken a copy of it, or whether, the original 
now fell into the hands of Joseph Smith, there is no evidence 
for deciding*. One thing* onry is clear, that by some person or 
other the manuscript was freely used as material in the composition 
of the Book of Mormon. 

Whether Sidney Rig-don was concerned in the fabrication has 
not been distinctly ascertained ; but it is a significant circumstance, 
that he afterwards became, next to Joseph Smith himself, the 
principal leader of the Mormons. How Joseph and this person 
became connected is not known, and which of the two originated 
the idea of making- a new Bible out of Solomon Spaulding-'s novel, 
is equally uncertain. The wife, several friends, and the brother 
of Solomon Spaulding* affirmed, however, the identitj^ of the 
principal portions of the Book of Mormon with the novel of The 
Manuscript Found, which the author had from time to time, and 
in separate portions, read over to them. John Spaulding' declared 
upon oath, that his brother's book was a historical romance, 
relating* to the first settlers in America, endeavouring- to shew that 

No. 53. 9 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

the American Indians were descendants of the Jews, or of the lost 
ten tribes. He stated, that it gave a detailed account of their 
journey from Jerusalem by land and sea, till they arrived in 
America under the command of Nephi and Lehi ; and that it also 
mentioned the Lamanites. He added, that ' he had recently read 
the Book of Mormon, and to his great surprise he found nearly 
the same historical matter and names as in his brother's writing's. 
To the best of his recollection and belief, it was the same that his 
brother Solomon wrote, with the exception of the religious matter/ 
The widow of Solomon Spaulding, afterwards married to a Mr 
Davison, made a statement in a Boston newspaper, in all substan- 
tial respects similar, clearly and distinctly identifying" the historical 
portions of the Book of Mormon with her husband's novel, and 
claiming the whole as his own composition, with the exception of 
various pious phrases and expressions which had been here and 
there interpolated. We presume that the evidence thus supplied 
must decide the question of the authorship, and that there can 
hardly remain a doubt that the Book of Mormon was founded on 
the manuscript romance of Solomon Spaulding. 

As regards the fabrication, it is not unlikely that Joseph Smith 
and Sidney Rigdon acted in concert, and, mingling the materials 
thus provided for them with odds and ends of religious matter 
derived from the Old and New Testaments, produced that singular 
amalgamation which is now regarded as the Bible of the sect. As 
a literary composition, the work is but a bungling affair ; the 
religious matter ingrafted upon the original romance being full 
of ungrammatical and illiterate expressions. For instance, such 
phrases as the following- very frequently occur: — 'Ye are like 
unto they ; ' ' Do as ye hath hitherto done ; ' ' I saith unto them ;' 
1 These things had not ought to be ; ' ' Ye saith unto him ;' 'I, the 
Lord, delighteth in the chastity of women ; ' ' For a more history 
part are written upon my other plates.' Anachronisms are also 
frequent, and blunders of almost every imaginable kind abound. 
But all errors of grammar, all anachronisms, all proven contradic- 
tions, are admitted by the Mormons, and treated as things utterly 
indifferent. They allege that the Old and New Testaments con- 
tain ungrammatical passages, and yet are holy, and the undoubted 
Word of God; and that anachronisms and contradictions do not 
militate against the plenary inspiration either of the Bible or the 
Book of Mormon. They acknowledge all possible faults and 
objections which mere critics may detect ; but affirm them to be 
of no account. Joseph Smith, say they, was a chosen vessel of 
grace, and it was not necessary, in the inscrutable purposes of 
Providence, that he should accurately write the English language ; 
nor can they regard his mission as being any way invalidated by 
a few human mistakes in his rendering of inspiration. 

What the Book of Mormon was professedly framed to teach 
cannot easily be shewn, without going further into detail than is 
possible within present limits. It may, however, be mentioned, 

10 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

that the Mormonites regard it as an inspired volume, suitable to 
the exigencies of the Christian life in these latter times. They 
allege that the Book of Mormon, and a certain book of ' Doctrines 
and Covenants/ containing" the substance of subsequent revela- 
tions made to the prophet, on various matters relating- to the 
management of the church, form and constitute the ' fulness of 
the gospel ;' that while they do not supersede or take anything* 
from the Old or the New Testament, they have been designed to 
complete both, and are therefore to be included within the 
authentic canon of religious scriptures. Nevertheless, they seem 
to have formed ideas of God and of men's relations towards Him 
different from any which are promulgated in the Gospel. They 
acknowledge a material deity, and describe him as a being in 
human form, and as having- the senses, passions, and all the par- 
ticular attributes of humanity. ' We believe/ says Orson Spencer, 
an apostle of the church, • that God is a being who hath both 
body and parts, and also passions / and this notion is prominently 
set forth in many of the publications of the sect. In some other 
respects they profess to differ from the ordinary sectarian deno- 
minations. They believe in ' the existence of the gifts, in the 
true church, spoken of in Paul's letter to the Corinthians/ in 
what the.}' describe as the * powers and gifts of the everlasting 
Gospel ;' and mention in particular ' the gift of faith, discerning 
of spirits, prophecy, revelation, healing-, tongues and the inter- 
pretation of tongues, wisdom, charity, brotherly love/ and some 
indefinite ' et cetera.' They believe also ' in the literal gathering 
of Israel, and in the restoration of the ten tribes ; that Zion will be 
Wished upon the western continent ; and that Christ will reign 
personally upon the earth for a thousand years.' They recognise 
two orders of priesthood, which they eall the Aaronic and the 
Melchisedek. The church is governed by a prophet, whom 
they sometimes call president ; they have twelve apostles, a 
number of bishops, high-priests, deacons, elders, and teachers ; 
and they assert on behalf of Joseph Smith and many other dis- 
tinguished leaders, that they had the power of working miracles 
and of casting out devils. They affirm that the end of the world 
is close at hand : and that they are the saints spoken of in the 
Apocalypse, who will be called to reign with Christ in a temporal 
kingdom on the earth. 

The manner in which Joseph Smith professed to have received 
his priestly ordination is so curious and characteristic, that it can- 
not be justly overlooked. He relates that while he and Oliver 
Cowdery, his scribe, were engaged in translating the Book of 
Mormon, and while they were 'praying and calling upon the 
Lord ? to aid them in the proper execution of the work, ' a mes- 
senger from heaven descended in a cloud of light/ and laying 
his hands upon them, ordained them, saying : ' Upon you, my 
fellow-servants, in the name of the Messiah, I confer the priest- 
hood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels 

U 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for 
the remission of sins ; and this shall never be taken again from 
the earth until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering- unto the 
Lord in righteousness.' He says, the messenger told them that 
1 this Aaronic priesthood had not the power of laying on of hands 
for the gift of the Holy Ghost/ but that this should be conferred 
on them thereafter. ' And/ says Joseph, ' he commanded us to 
go and be baptised, and gave us directions that I should baptise 
Oliver Cowdery, and afterwards that he should baptise me. 
Accordingly, we went and were baptised. I baptised him first, 
and afterwards he baptised me. After which I laid my hand 
upon his head, and ordained him to the Aaronic priesthood'; after- 
wards he laid his hands on me, and ordained me to the same 
priesthood, for so we were commanded. The messenger who 
visited us on this occasion, and conferred this priesthood upon 
us, said that his name was John, the same that is called John 
the Baptist in the New Testament ; and that he acted under the 
direction of Peter, James, and John, who held the keys of the 
priesthood of Melchisedek, which priesthood, he said, should in due 
time be conferred on us, and that I should be called the first elder, 
and he the second. It was on the 15th day of May 1829 that 
we were baptised and ordained under the hand of the messenger.' 
Before the publication of the Book of Mormon, Joseph had 
already gathered to himself a small number of adherents. In 
1830, the year after he began to announce his visions and to speak 
of the discovery of the plates, his followers amounted to five 
persons.. Among these were included his father and three brothers ; 
but in the course of a few weeks the number increased to thirty. 
On the 1st of June, in the year just mentioned, the first con- 
ference of the sect, as an organised church, was held at Fayette, 
where the prophet at that time resided. As the people of the 
neighbourhood generally regarded him as an impostor, his pro- 
ceedings from the outset met with considerable opposition. Joseph, 
on the present occasion, had ordered the construction of a dam 
across a stream of water, for the purpose of baptising* his disciples. 
But before the ceremony was commenced, a mob collected, and 
broke down the preparations, using such language towards the 
prophet as was anything but flattering to him or his followers, 
threatening him with violence, and accusing him of robbery and 
swindling. They derided his prophetical pretensions, charged 
-him with having lived the life of a reprobate, and in every way 
did their utmost to make him the object of ridicule and suspicion. 
Joseph, however, was nothing daunted. With singular tact, as 
well as courage, he bore down all detraction by confessing boldly 
that he had once led an improper and immoral life ; but, unworthy 
as he was, ' the Lord had chosen him — had forgiven him all his 
sins, and intended, in his own inscrutable purposes, to make him— 
weak and erring as he might have been — the instrument of his 
g-lory. Unlettered and comparatively ignorant he acknowledged 
'12 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

himself to be; but then, said he, was not St Peter illiterate? 
Were not John and the other Christian apostles men of low birth 
and mean position before they were called to the ministry 1 And 
what had been done before, might it not be done again, if God 
willed it I ' By arguments such as these he strengthened the 
faith of those who were inclined to believe in the divinity of his 
mission, and partially foiled the logic of those that were opposed 
to him. Absurd and fanatical as his theology may seem, it is not 
to be denied that he shewed thus early an unquestionable talent 
for influencing the opinions and commanding" the sympathies of 
persons in any way disposed to credulity and enthusiasm. 

He appears to have had many contests with the preachers 
and leading- people of other religious sects, and to have signally 
exasperated them against him by the boldness of his self-sufficiency, 
and the boundless resources of his ingenuity and impudence, in 
asserting- and defending his pretensions. Yet if he was arrogant 
and presumptuous, they were not the less dogmatic and intolerant. 
"When Joseph proved himself utterly invincible by their logic, and 
was not to be put down by any taunts concerning- his unworthi- 
as a man, or his incompetency as a scholar, they had recourse 
to the ordinary expedient of persecution. Their animosity rose 
bo high at last, that the prophet and his followers found the place 
too strait for them ; and, accordingly, to escape from the virulent 
opposition they had to contend with, the whole family of the 
Smiths and the most pertinacious of their adherents deemed it 
prudent to remove from Palmyra and Fayetteville, and to settle 
themselves in other quarters. The place they selected was 
Kirtland, in Ohio ; but this they regarded only as a temporary 
resting-place. The attention of the sect was directed, from the 
very commencement of their organisation, to the desirableness of 
establishing themselves in the ' Far West' territories, where, in a 
thinly-settled and partially-explored country, they mig-ht squat 
down or purchase lands at a cheap rate, and clear the wilderness 
for their own purposes. Shortly after their removal to Kirtland, 
Oliver Cowdery was sent out on an exploratory expedition, and, 
coming back, reported so favourably of the beauty, fertility, and 
cheapness of the land in Jackson County, in Missouri, that Joseph 
Smith himself determined to go and visit the location. 

Leaving his family and principal connections in Kirtland, he 
proceeded with Sidney Rigdon and some others upon a long- and 
arduous journey, his object being to fix upon a site for the ' New 
Jerusalem ' — the future city and metropolis of the divine kingdom, 
where Christ was to reign over the saints as a temporal king, in 
1 power and great glory.' They started, apparently, about the 
middle of June 1831, travelling by wagons or canal-boats, and 
sometimes on foot, as far as Cincinnati. From this place they 
proceeded by steamer to Louisville and St Louis, where at length 
all the civilised means of transport failed them. The rest of the 
journey, a distance of 300 miles, had to be performed on foot. 

13 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

"With brave hearts and hopeful faces, however, they toiled along 
through the wilderness, and finally reached the town of Inde- 
pendence, in Jackson County, in the middle of July. Though 
footsore and weary, they were not sad ; for the country, with its 
grandeurs and conveniences, surpassed their most sanguine expec- 
tations. It is pleasant to see how the prophet was enraptured at 
the sight of it, and how, in his description, there is even a touch 
of poetry. Looking intently on the landscape, he notes, ' as far 
as the eye can glance, the beautiful rolling prairies lay spread 
around like a sea of meadows. ' It is a fruitful and smiling land — 
a land overflowing with corn and fruits, and cotton and honey, 
and bountifully, though not too thickly, overspread with timber ; 
the buffalo, the elk, and the deer, with a sprinkling of less attrac- 
tive animals, roam over it at pleasure ; and there are turkeys and 
geese, and swans and ducks, and every variety of the feathered 
race ; and altogether it is an abundant and delightful region, and 
seems meet for the heritage of the elect of the Most High. Here, 
then, decides the prophet, shall be built the future Zion ; and 
hither shall the Saints be gathered, that they may inherit and 
enjoy the land in all its plenty. 

Tnat there might be no doubt among his followers that this was 
assuredly the spot marked out by a considerate Providence as their 
place of settlement, Joseph Smith contrived to obtain a direct 
revelation on the subject. Indeed, whenever he had any diffi- 
culty, or was about to do anything that might startle or surprise 
the Saints, his course was invariably smoothed before him by a 
timely revelation. He had only to announce: 'Thus saith the 
Lord your God,' and add whatsoever he deemed convenient, and 
the matter in hand was authoritatively settled. On the present 
occasion, it was revealed to him that a certain district in Jackson 
County was ' the land of promise, and the place for the city of 
Zion.' l Behold,' says the document which he issued as a celestial 
communication, ' behold, the place which is now called Inde- 
pendence is the centre place, and a spot for the temple is lying 
westward, upon a lot which is not far from the court-house ; 
wherefore it is wisdom that the land should be purchased by the 
Saints ; and also every tract lying westward, even unto the line 
running directly between Jew and Gentile. And also every tract 
bordering by the prairies, inasmuch as my disciples are enabled to 
buy lands.' The blending of scriptural phrase with business-like 
minuteness in this document is somewhat curious. It goes on to 
say : i Let my servant, Sidney Gilbert, stand in the office which I 
have appointed him, to receive moneys, to be an agent unto the 
church, to buy lands in all the regions round about.' Another 
servant, Edward Partridge, is oracularly commanded ' to divide 
the Saints their inheritance.' And again, it runs : * Verily, I say 
unto you, let my servant, Sidney Gilbert, plant himself in this 
place, and establish a store, that he may sell goods without fraud ; 
that he may obtain money to buy lands for the good of the Saints.' 

14 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

Sidney Gilbert is also enjoined to ' obtain a licence that he may 
send goods unto the people/ so as to provide for the preaching- of 
the gospel ' unto those who sit in darkness.' William Phelps is 
to be established ' as a printer unto the church ; ' ' and, lo ! ' says the 
revelation, ' if the world receiveth his writing's, let him obtain 
whatsoever he can obtain in righteousness, for the good of the 

Saints. And let my servant, Oliver Cowdery, assist him to 

copy, and to correct, and select, that all things may be rig'ht before 
me, as it shall be proved by the spirit throug'h him.' And con- 
cerning- the gathering-, it is said : ' Let the bishop and the agent 
make preparations for those families which have been commanded 
to come to this land, as soon as possible, and plant them in their 
inheritance.' 

On the tirst Sunday after his arrival, Joseph preached in the 
wilderness to a miscellaneous crowd of Indians, squatters, and a 
' rr-pectable company of negToes.' He made a few converts, and 
soon had another revelation, to the effect chiefly, that Martin 
Harris should ' be an example to the church in laying* his moneys 
before the bishops of the church ;' the said moneys being- required 
to purchase land for a storehouse, ' and also for the house of the 
printing.' On the 3d of Aug-ust, after a sojourn of about three 
weeks, the spot for the temple was solemnly laid out and dedi- 
cated; and Joseph, some days afterwards, having- completed all 
his arrangements, established a bishop, and acquired, as he con- 
ceived, a firm footing' for his sect in Jackson County, prepared to 
return into Ohio, to look after his affairs at Kirtland. On the 
homeward journey, nothing" of consequence occurred, except that 
once ' Brother Phelps, in open vision, by daylight, saw the 
Destroyer (otherwise called the Devil) ride upon the waters ' of 
a river near which the party was encamped. ' Others/ says 
Joseph, ' heard the noise, but saw not the vision.' The devil, 
however, was quite harmless ; and after a journey of twenty-four 
days, the pilgrims all arrived at Kirtland. 

It is a peculiarity of our prophet, that he always had the keenest 
eye to business. On his return to Kirtland, by the aid of others, 
members of the church, he established a mill, a store, and a bank. 
Of the latter, he appointed himself president, and intrusted Sidney 
Rigdon with the office of cashier. It was the object of himself 
and of the sect to stay in Kirtland and make money for the next 
rive years ; until, in short, the wilderness should be cleared, and 
the temple built in Zion. 

Meanwhile, Joseph lost no opportunity of propagating his reli- 
gion, and of planting branches of his church wherever he could 
find a soil adapted to his doctrines. He travelled about preaching 
in various parts of the United States, making converts with great 
rapidity. He had two great elements of persuasion in his favour — 
sufficient novelty, and unconquerable perseverance. His doctrine 
was both old and new. It had something of the old that was 
calculated to attract such as would have been repelled bv a creed 

15 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

altogether new, and it had sufficient novelty to strike the attention 
and inflame the imagination of many whose minds would have 
been totally uninfluenced by current and established dogmas, 
however powerfully preached. Basing his faith upon isolated 
passages of the Bible : claiming direct inspiration from Heaven ; 
promising possession of the earth, ;md limiting eternal blessings, 
to all true believers ; and, moreover, announcing his mission with 
a courage and audacity that despised difficulty and danger ; it is 
not surprising that ignorant and credulous people should every- 
where have listened to him, and reverently credited his extravagant 
pretensions. Nevertheless, his success as a propagandist was not 
without some drawbacks. Never, perhaps, until this enlightened 
nineteenth century, was it the lot of a prophet to be tarred and 
feathered ! Such, however, was the ridiculous martyrdom which 
Mohammed Smith was called upon to suffer at the hands of law- 
less men. One night, in the month of March 1832, l a mob 
of Methodists, Baptists, Campbellites,' and other miscellaneous 
zealots, broke into his peaceable dwelling-house, and dragging 
him from the wife of his bosom, stripped him naked, and in the 
way just indicated, most despitefully maltreated him. Under the 
bleak midnight sky, they carried him into a meadow a little dis- 
tance from the house, and there, with curses and wild uproar, 
anointed his sacred person with that dark impurity which 
Falstaff mentions as having a tendency to defile ; and then rolling 
him well in feathers, set him at liberty — a spectacle not inappro- 
priate for a scarecrow ! Sidney Rigdon was similarly handled, and 
rendered temporarily crazy by the treatment. As to the prophet, 
it took the whole night for his friends to cleanse his polluted skin. 
Yet, the next day being the Sabbath, with his ' flesh all scarified 
and defaced,' he preached to the congregation as usual, and in 
the afternoon of the same day baptised three individuals. Thus, 
under the absurdest persecution, the church prospers and increases, 
and Prophet Joseph loses nothing of his natural audacity, nor 
abates one whit in his confident self-assertion. 

However, calling to mind the scriptural injunction : ' If they 
persecute you in one city, flee into another,' Joseph seems to have 
thought that it would not be amiss to absent himself a little from 
the scene of so bathotic a disaster. Accordingly, he started on the 
2d of April, with a small company of adherents, for the settlement 
in Missouri, designing, as he said, to fulfil the revelation. Some 
of his inhuman persecutors dogged his steps as far as Louisville, 
taunting and harassing him by the way ; but getting protection 
from the captain of a steam-boat, he arrived in safety at Inde- 
pendence on the 26th. Here he found the Saints going ahead with 
great rapidity. In obedience to a revelation which he had sent 
them, a printing-press had been established, and the work of prose- 
lytising was advancing famously. A monthly periodical, called 
the Morning and Evening Star, was conducted by Mr Phelps, the 
printer to the church ; and a weekly newspaper, devoted exclusively 

16 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

to the interests of Mormonism, had been started under the title 
of the I r pper Missouri Advertiser. The number of the disciples 
amounted to nearly 3000; while in Kirtland, including" women 
and children, they had not yet exceeded 150. The new Zion was 
clearly thriving, and would soon be ready for the gathering- of the 
brethren from other quarters. Being- enthusiastically received by 
the congregation, and solemnly acknowledged as their ' prophet, 
ana president of the high-priesthood of the church,' Joseph, 
after a brief and pleasant sojourn, left the place in perfect con- 
iidence that all was going on prosperously. 

Perhaps he ought to have remembered, that often when things 
are most prosperous in appearance, there is apt to be some latent 
mischief or misfortune in process of development. And, to speak 
truly, the manner in which the Saints behaved themselves in 
Zion, was anything but calculated to make friends among the 
Gentiles. They assumed an offensive superiority over their 
neighbours, and spoke rather too boldly of their determination 
to take possession of the whole state of Missouri, and to permit no 
one to live in it who did not conform themselves to the Mormon 
creed and discipline. Strange rumours also began to spread con- 
cerning their peculiarities of intercourse and ways of living. They 
were accused of communism, and not simply of a community of 
goods and chattels, but also of a community of wives. This 
charge appears to have been utterly unfounded, but it was not 
the less effective in arousing the indignation of the people of 
Independence and Missouri against the Mormons. A party was 
secretly formed, whose object was to expel them from the state. 
The printing-office of the Star was razed to the ground, and the 
types and presses confiscated. A Mormon bishop was tarred and 
leathered, and Editor Phelps had a narrow escape from a touch of 
the like treatment. Outrages of almost every description were 
committed by armed mobs upon the Mormons, till at length they 
saw no chance or likelihood of ever being left at peace ; and the 
final result was, that — having no other resource — the leaders 
agreed that, if time were given, the people should remove westward 
to some other situation. 

Under circumstances of such peril and humiliation, the Saints, 
not unadvisedly, despatched Oliver Cowdery to Kirtland with a 
message to the prophet. Joseph Smith, as became his situation, 
proved himself not unfertile in resources. He decided that the 
Morning and Evening Star should be thenceforth published hi 
Kirtland, and that another newspaper should be started to supply 
the place of the one lately printed in Missouri. He also resolved 
to apply to the governor of that state, and to demand justice for 
the outrages inflicted upon the sect. Anything that could be 
done to aid the brethren from a distance he was prompt and ready 
to undertake; but, under the circumstances, he did not deem it 
circumspect to venture personally into Zion. He sent his followers 
a prophet's blessing and a word of comfort ; and then, in company 

17 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

with Sidney Rigdon and another, made a journey into Canada, 
with the design of gaining converts. 

Meanwhile, in reply to a petition which had been sent him by 
the Mormons, the governor of Missouri responded by a sensible 
and conciliatory letter. He alluded to the attack upon them as 
being* illegal and unjustifiable, and recommended them to remain 
where they were, and to apply for redress to the ordinary tribunals 
of the country. Acting- on the strength of this advice, the Mor- 
mons commenced actions against the ring-leaders of the mob, 
engaging, by a fee of 1000 dollars, the best legal assistance to 
support their case. But on the 30tli of October, the mob ag-ain 
rose in arms to expel them. Several houses of the Saints were 
sacked and partially demolished. The Mormons, in some instances, 
defended their possessions, and a regular battle ensued between 
them and their opponents. In this encounter, it happened that 
two of the latter were killed ; and thenceforth the fray became so 
furious and alarming-, that the militia was obliged to be called out 
to suppress it. The militia, however, being anti-Mormon to a 
man, took sides entirely against them, and the hapless Saints had 
no alternative except in flight. The women took alarm, and fled 
with their children across the Missouri river, where, being after- 
wards joined by their husbands, they all encamped in the open 
wilderness. They ultimately took refuge for the most part in 
Clay County, where they appear to have been received with some 
degree of kindness. 

The public authorities of Missouri, and indeed all the principal 
people, except those of Jackson County, were exceedingly scan- 
dalised at these proceedings, and sympathised with the efforts of 
the Mormon leaders to obtain redress. The attorney- general of 
the state wrote to say, that if the Mormons desired to be re-estab- 
lished in their possessions, an adequate public force should be sent 
for their protection. He also advised them to remain in the state, 
and organise themselves into a regular company of militia, pro- 
mising to supply them with arms at the public expense. About 
the same time a message arrived from the prophet, who had now 
returned to Kirtland, urging them to abide by their possessions, 
and not in any case to sell any land to which they had a legal 
title, but hold on ' until the Lord in his wisdom should open a 
way for their return.' Nevertheless, for present emergencies, he 
recommended them to purchase a tract of land in Clay County, 
and to tarry there awhile, abiding- their time. He likewise com- 
municated to them a revelation, by which they were commanded 
to importune the courts of justice to reinstate them in their 
possessions, and promised that, in case of failure, ' the Lord God 
himself would arise and come out of his hiding-place, and in his 
fury vex the nation.' 

The Mormons, however, were never more restored to their 
beloved Zion. They remained for upwards of four years in Clay 
County. The land on which they settled was mostly uncleared, 

18 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

but being an industrious and persevering- people, they laid out 
farms, erected mills and stores, and carried on their business as 
successfully as in their previous location. But here also the 
suspicions and ill-feeling of the people were soon aroused against 
them, and were eventually the Cause of their expulsion from the 
whole state of Missouri. The bearing- of the Mormons towards 
the slavery question, the calumny about their community of 
wives, their loud pretensions of superior holiness, their repeated 
declarations that Missouri had been assigned to their possession 
by divine command, and the quarrels that were constantly 
resulting, brought about the same kind of misunderstandings and 
collisions which they had experienced in Jackson County. 

At this juncture — namely, on the 5th of May 1834 — Joseph 
Smith, the prophet, resolved to visit his persecuted church, and 
try what he could do to put the aifairs of his scattered and 
dispirited disciples into order. He brought with him an organised 
company of 100 persons, mostly young men, and nearly all priests, 
deacons, teachers, and officers of the church. Twenty of them 
formed the body-guard of the prophet, his brother, Hyrum Smith, 
being captain, and another brother, George Smith, his armour- 
bearer. On the way, he was intercepted by the people of Jackson 
County, one of the leaders of whom, named Campbell, swore ' that 
the eagles and turkey-buzzards should eat his flesh, if he did not, 
before two days, fix Joe Smith and his army so that their skins 
should not hold shucks.' Joseph, who relates the story, says, 
however, that Campbell and his men 'went to the ferry, and 
undertook to cross the Missouri river after dusk ; but the angel 
of God saw fit to sink the boat about the middle of the 
river, and seven out of the twelve that attempted to cross were 
drowned. Thus suddenly and justly,' he adds, ' they went to 
their own place by water. Campbell was among the missing. 
He floated down the river some four or five miles, and lodged 
upon a pile of drift-wood, where the eagles, buzzards, ravens, 
crows, and wild animals, ate his flesh from his bones, to fulfil his 
own words, and left him a horrible-looking skeleton of God's 
vengeance, which was discovered about three weeks afterwards 
by one Mr Purtle.' But, though sustaining no material damage 
from the vindictive Mr Campbell, Joseph lost thirteen of his band 
by the ravages of cholera. Marching onwards, however, he arrived 
in Clay County on the 2d of July ; and in the course of his brief 
stay of seven days, succeeded in establishing the Saints in their 
new settlement, on a better footing than he found them occupying 
on his arrival. 

The history of the sect for the next three years is one of strife 
and contention with their enemies in Missouri. The numbers of 
the Mormons increased with the numbers of their opponents ; and 
the warfare raged so bitterly, that the whole people of the state 
were ranged either on one side or the other. At length, in the 
autumn of 1837, Joseph's bank at Kirtland suddenly stopped 

19 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

payment; the district was flooded with his paper, and proceedings 
were taken against him and the other managers for swindling. 
At this untoward juncture, the prophet received a convenient 
revelation, commanding- him to depart finally for Missouri, 
and live among- the Saints in the land of their inheritance. A 
scandal runs, that he obeyed the call by departing' secretly in the 
night ; or, in Yankee phraseology, he went off ' between two 
days,' leaving his creditors to such remedy as might be open to 
them. On arriving in Missouri, he found the affairs of his church 
in considerable confusion. The Saints had become a numerous 
and powerful body ; but they did not agTee among themselves, 
and occasional seceders spread abroad all sorts of rumours and 
strange stories in condemnation of their polity. A great schism 
broke out in 1838, when Joseph Smith took occasion to denounce 
some of his oldest and most intimate confederates. Among thes% 
were Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris, and Sidney lligdon, and 
several other distinguished apostles and disciples. Sidney Rigdon 
was afterwards received back into favour and forgiven, inasmuch 
as he was too important a personage to be converted into an 
enemy. During the progress of these internal squabbles, the 
Gentiles of Jackson and Clay counties persisted in their perse- 
cutions, making constantly repeated efforts to expel the Mormons 
altogether from Missouri. 

This object was finally effected in the latter part of the year 
1838; and the Mormons, to the number of 15,000, took refuge in 
Illinois. They purchased lands in the vicinity of the town of 
Commerce, and shortly afterwards changed the name of the place 
into Nauvoo, or the City of Beauty. The country was rich in 
agricultural resources, and the Mormons foiled not to turn them 
to account. 'Soon,' says Lieutenant Gunnison, 'the colonists 
changed the desert to an abode of plenty and richness : gardens 
sprung up as by magic, decorated with the most beautiful flowers 
of the old and new world, whose seeds were brought as mementoes 
from former homes by the converts that flocked to the new state 
of Zion ; broad streets were soon fenced, houses erected, and the 
busy hum of industry heard in the marts of commerce ; the 
6team-boat unladed its stores and passengers, and departed for a 
fresh supply of merchandise; fields waved with the golden harvests, 
and cattle dotted the rolling hills.' A site for the temple was 
chosen on the brow of a hill overlooking the town, and the building 
was commenced according to a plan or pattern which the prophet 
professed to have received by revelation. Flourishing centres of 
dense settlements sprung up in the neighbourhood of the city, and 
the accessions and exertions of emigrants enlarged the borders of 
the faithful. In the course of eighteen months, the people had 
erected about 2000 houses, besides schools and a variety of 
public buildings. The place became a populous and imposing- 
looking town. Joseph Smith was appointed mayor, and for 
awhile enjoyed an undisturbed supremacy. His word was law ; 

20 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

he was the temporal and spiritual head of the community ; and, 
besides his titles of prophet, president, and mayor, he held the 
military title of general, in right of his command over a body of 
militia, which he organised under the name of the Nauvoo Legion. 
• ] ne where about the time at which we have now arrived, the 
sect began to be heard of in England. Missionaries from America 
appeared in Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Birmingham, Glasgow, 
and in several towns and places in South Wales. Their preaching' 
was attended with very considerable success, and in three or four 
re the sect numbered in this country upwards of 10,000 converts. 
A copy of the Book of Mormon was forwarded, at the prophet's 
desire, to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert — a circumstance 
whereat the Saints in Nauvoo were much deligiited, though what 
reception the volume met with has not been publicly ascertained. 
The English converts were generally urged to emigrate; and great 
numbers of them for some years past have been flocking" to the 
various Mormon settlements. Numbers in these years arrived 
and settled at Nauvoo. But it was not to these alone that the 
increase of the population was confined. As Lieutenant Gunnison 
hfti related: ' Horse-thieves and housebreakers, robbers and vil- 
lains, gathered there to cloak their deeds in mystery, who, caring- 
nothing- for religion, could take the appearance of baptism, and 
be among-, but not of them. Speculators came in and bought lots, 
with the hope of great remuneration as the colony increased. The 
latter class, unwilling to pay tithes, soon fell into disrepute ; and 
when proper time had elapsed for conversion without effect, 
measures were taken to oust them.' The manner of effecting- this 
was characteristic and somewhat singular. ' A proper sum would 
be offered for their improvements and lands, and, if not accepted, 
then petty annoyances were resorted to. One of these was called 
'• whittling off." Three men would be deputed and paid for their 
time, to take their jack-knives and sticks — downeast Yankees, of 
course — and, sitting down before the obnoxious man's door, begin 
their whittling. When the man came out, they would stare at 
him, but say nothing. If he went to the market, they followed 
and whittled. Whatever taunts, curses, or other provoking epi- 
thets were applied to them, no notice would be taken, no word 
spoken in return, no laugh on their faces. The jeers and shouts 
of street urchins made the welkin ring, but deep silence pervaded 
the whittlers. Their leerish look followed him everywhere, from 
" morning dawn to dusky eve." When he was in-doors, they sat 
patiently down, and assiduously performed their jack-knife duty. 
Three days are said to have been the utmost that human nature 
could endure of this silent annoyance. The man came to terms, 
sold his possessions for what he could get, or emigrated to parts 
unknown.' 

Notwithstanding- these discreditable accessions, the Mormons 
proper continued to increase in numbers. While settled at Nauvoo, 
they boasted of having 100,000 persons professing their faith in 

21 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

the United States. They began to be a distinct and imposing 
power in the country, and in various places influenced the elections. 
On all political questions they were perfectly united. So bold did 
they become, that in 1844 they put Joseph Smith in nomination 
for the presidency. This was considered an absurd movement ; 
but the Mormons, nevertheless, assert that had lie lived for the 
next trial after, he would have been elected. No opportunity, how- 
ever, was afforded him to test the truth of the prediction. A dark 
day for the Mormons was approaching. The people amidst whom 
they lived complained that their property was constantly disappear- 
ing, and that traces of it were often found in the city of Nauvoo. 
The redress proposed to be given them by the Mormon courts was 
declared to be unavailing, as the causes tried there always went 
against them. No Mormon could by any chance be brought to 
justice, they said. The leaders of the sect were likewise charged 
with political aspirations. It was said that they aimed to rule the 
state, and, under the pretence of a spiritual direction, set the laws 
at defiance. But, more than all, intestine quarrels conspired to 
bring about a distressing crisis in their affairs. Many influential 
and talented persons, finding themselves deceived, both in the 
sanctity of the prophet and in advancing their temporal fortunes, 
deserted his standard, and denounced him for licentiousness, 
drunkenness, and tyranny. Women impeached him of attempted 
seduction ; which his apology, that it was merely to see if they 
were virtuous, could not satisfy. Criminations brought back 
recriminations against certain men.* A newspaper under the 
prophet's control lashed the dissenters with great bitterness ; and, 
on the other hand, the dissenters set up a counter-organ, wherein 
they detailed the most offensive charges of debauchery against the 
prophet and his principal supporters. A city-council was then 
convened, and measures were immediately taken to silence the 
defamers. A mob of the ' faithful' destroyed their printing-press, 
scattering the types in the streets, and burning an edition of their 
paper. After mushing this work of demolition, they repaired to 
head-quarters, and were complimented by the prophet and his 
brother Hyrum, and received from them the promise of some 
appropriate reward. This, however, they never got, for a grand 
and fatal outrage was presently transacted, which brought both 
the power and the life of the prophet suddenly to an end. 

It being impossible to bring the Mormon mob to justice through 
the Nauvoo courts, the officer who undertook to deal with them 
procured a county writ, and attempted to enforce it in the manner 
resorted to against ordinary offenders. But this attempt was 
opposed and prevented by the people and troops in Nauvoo ; and 
when at length the militia were called out, Joseph Smith, as mayor 
and commanding-general of the legion, declared the city under 
martial law. Thereupon an appeal was made to the governor of 

* See Gunnison. 
22 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

the state, who forthwith ordered out three companies of the state 
militia, to bring- the prophet and his adherents to submission, and 
to enforce their obedience to the laws. An officer was despatched 
to arrest Joseph and his brother Hyrum ; but to avoid the indignity, 
they crossed over the Mississippi into town, and there stayed to 
ch events, keeping- up by a boat a correspondence with the 
Mormon council. Finding at length that their own people were 
incensed at their desertion, the council advised the Smiths to sur- 
render to the governor, and to stand their trial for such a violation 
of the law as they could be charged with. They, accordingly, 
repaired to Carthage, the seat of g-overnment, and were there 
indicted for treason, and, in company with two of their apostles, 
were lodged in the county jail. 

It is related that the prophet had a presentiment of evil in this 
affair, and said, as he surrendered : * 1 am going like a lamb to the 
slaughter, but I am calm as a summer morning- ; I have a conscience 
void of offence, and shall die innocent.' As the mob still breathed 
vengeance against the prisoners, and as the militia sided with the 
people, and were not to be depended on in the way of preventing 
violence, the governor was requested by the citizens of Nauvoo 
and other Mormons to set a guard over the jail. But the governor, 
seeing things apparently quiet, discharged the troops, and simply 
promised justice to all parties. It now began to be rumoured that 
there would be no case forthcoming against the Smiths, and that 
the governor was anxious they should escape. Influenced by this 
belief, a band of about 200 ruffians conspired to attack the jail, and 
take justice into their own hands. ' If law could not reach them/ 
they said, * powder and shot should.' On the 27th of June 1844, 
they assaulted the door of the room in which the prisoners were 
incarcerated, and having* broken in, fired upon the four all at once. 
Hyrum Smith was instantly killed. Joseph, with a revolver, 
returned two shots, hitting one man in the elbow. He then threw 
up the window, and attempted to leap out, but was killed in the 
act by the balls of the assailants outside. Both were again shot 
after they were dead, each receiving no less than four balls. One 
of the two Mormons who were with them was seriously wounded, 
but afterwards recovered ; and the other is said to have escapad 
* without a hole in his robe.' 

Here, then, ends the life and prophetic mission of Joseph Smith. 
Henceforth the Mormons are left to be guided by another leader. 
Of himself it has been said : ' He founded a dynasty which his 
death rendered more secure, and sent forth principles that take 
fast hold on thousands in all lands ; and the name of Great Martyr 
of the nineteenth century, is a tower of strength to his followers. 
He lived fourteen years and three months after founding a society 
with six members, and could boast of having 150,000 ready to 
do his bidding when he died ; all of whom regarded his voice as 
from Heaven. Among his disciples he bears a character for talent, 
uprightness, and purity, far surpassing all other men with whom 

23 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

they ever were acquainted, or whose biography they have read.' 
Nevertheless, it is added : i But few of these admirers were cogni- 
zant of other than his prophetic career, and treat with scornful 
disdain all that is said in disparagement of his earlier life. With 
those who knew him in his youth, and have given us solemn 
testimony, he is declared an indolent vagabond, an infamous liar of 
consummate impudence. He is regarded by the " Gentiles," who 
saw him in the last few years of successful power, to have been a 
man of unbridled lust, and engaged with the counterfeiting and 
robbing bands of the Great Valley ; but these charges have never 
been substantiated.' The man had faults enough, no doubt ; but 
it would be the grossest injustice to deny that he had also some 
sterling and commanding qualities. Much of the impostor as one 
may detect in the beginnings of his career, any one who carefully 
observes his progress, may perceive that his character and designs 
became developed into something that was at least partially com- 
mendable. A rude, uncouth genius, who, like many another 
genius, for a long- while apprehended not his mission ; knew not 
the things which Nature had appointed him to do ; and yet, with 
a blind unconscious instinct — manifested throug-h many follies and 
insincerities — he struggled, and could not help but struggle, to 
make felt the influence and administrative power which he was 
born to exercise among mankind. "We may call him a sort of 
mongrel-hero, and non-commissioned leader of the unguided ; a 
charlatan-fanatic, whose work was half knavery and half earnest, 
and whom, probably, Nature had ordained to do the rough pio- 
neering of civilisation in the waste places of her kingdoms. That 
he had available powers for leading and for ruling men, there is 
proof in the multitude and successful consolidation of his adherents. 
Saint or sinner, Joseph Smith must be reckoned a remarkable man 
in his generation ; one who began and accomplished a greater 
work than he was aware of ; and whose name, whatever he may 
have been whilst living, will take its place among the notabilities 
of the world. 

After his death, the Mormons were somewhat agitated by the 
question of the succession to his seership. Sidney Rigdon and 
others came forward with claims and pretensions to the office ; but 
finally the council of the twelve unanimously elected Brigham 
Young. ' This man,' says Lieutenant Gunnison, ' with a mien of 
the most retiring modesty and diffidence in ordinary intercourse in 
society, holds a spirit of ardent feeling and great shrewdness ; and 
when roused in debate, or upon the preacher's stand, exhibits a 
boldness of speech and gTasp of thought that awes and enchains 
with intense interest — controlling, soothing, or exasperating at 
pleasure the multitudes that listen to his eloquence.' 

One of the first things which the new president had to do, was 
to conduct the removal of the Mormons from Nauvoo, and to 
establish them in a settlement where they should no longer be 
molested. Almost as soon as he was elected, arrang-ements began 

24 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

to be made for abandoning- the city ; and in the spring of 1 845., 
several parties set out on a dreary journey still further to the west. 
Numbers, however, remained behind to complete and consecrate 
the temple — a work which they ultimately effected amid general 
rejoicings. But no sooner was this labour of piety accomplished, 
than they were compelled to leave the honoured edifice, and the 
city in which it stood, to be ' profaned and trodden down by the 
Gentiles.' The hostility of their neighbours never once abated 
until they had driven them utterly out of the state; and on the 
part of the Mormons it was finally resolved to seek out and colonise 
some new and remote territory. 

With this object, men were sent to the mountains, to the heads 
of the Missouri branches, and to California, to spy out the land; 
and the Calebs and Joshuas of the expedition brought such a 
report of the Great Salt Lake Valley, that it was immediately 
chosen for what the Saints were pleased to call 'an everlasting 
abode.' In the spring of 1847, a pioneer-party of 143 men pro- 
ceeded to open the way ; and the rest of the people, in parties of 
. fifties, and hundreds, followed. The strictest discipline of 
guard and march was observed by the way. After many perils, 
and hardships almost indescribable, they at last reached their desti- 
nation. Great joy to the weary wanderers was the first sight of the 
goodly valley, as they beheld it before them from the final moun- 
tain summit. ' As each team rose upon the narrow table, the 
delighted pilgrims saw the white salt beach of the Great Lake 
glistening in the never-clouded sunbeam of summer — and the 
view down the open gorge of the mountains, divided by a single 
conical peak, into the long-toiled-for vale of repose, was most 
ravishing to the beholder. Few such ecstatic moments are vouch- 
safed to mortals in the pilgrimage of life, when the dreary past is 
all forgotten, and the soul revels in unalloyed enjoyment, antici- 
pating the fruition of hope.' A few moments were allotted to each 
party to gaze and admire, and then with measured pace they 
journeyed forward, and after some sixteen miles further travelling, 
emerged into the valley which was to be thenceforward their 
unmolested home. 

The journey ended, work was instantly commenced. The 
industry of the Mormons has, ever since they became a sect, been 
pre-eminently exemplary. In five days a field was consecrated, 
fenced, ploughed, and planted! Tents and cabins were rapidly 
erected for the temporary service of the emigrants ; but very 
shortly a city was laid out, and a fort, enclosing about forty acres, 
built for its protection. Everywhere the most cheerful and pros- 
perous activity went on. As yet, however, the hardships of the 
Mormons were not ended. During the first year, every month 
was so mild that they constantly ploughed and sowed; but though 
the winter was thus auspicious, and all things promising, they 
were so reduced in provisions as to be obliged to eat the hides of 
the slaughtered animals, and even eagerly searched for them out 

25 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

of the ditches, and tore them from the roofs of the houses, to boil 
them for that purpose. They also dug- up the wild roots used for 
food by the Indians. But, we are informed, the most formidable 
enemy they had to contend with, as the crops were nearing matu- 
rity, was an army of black ungainly crickets, which, descending- 
from the mountain-sides, destined every bit of herbage in their 
way. No wonder the Mormon farmers considered it a miracle, 
when, in despair from the ravages of these l black Philistines,' they 
at length were visited by large flights of beautiful white gulls, 
which in a short time exterminated the enemy. The next season 
they came earlier, and thereby saved the wheat from any harm 
whatever ; and since then they have regularly appeared, and move 
hither and thither about the settlement, as tame as household 
pigeons. Since the first year, the crops of the Mormons have 
amply met their wants ; and for the last three years there has 
been a surplus of food among them, which was sold to the gold 
emigrants at a less price than provisions were selling 400 miles 
nearer the States, and of course that distance further from the 
California diggings. 

The social condition of this remarkable people in their present 
settlement is thus described by Lieutenant Gunnison, who lived 
among them for more than a year, in an official capacity connected 
with a recent exploring- expedition to the Deseret or Utah terri- 
tory, under direction of the United States government. He says : 
c Their admirable system of combining labour, while each has his 
own property, in land and tenements, and the proceeds of his 
industry, the skill in dividing off lands, and conducting the irri- 
gating* canals to supply the want of water, which rarely falls 
between April and October ; the cheerful manner in winch every 
one applies himself industriously, but not laboriously ; the complete 
reign of good neighbourhood and quiet in house and fields, form 
themes for admiration to the stranger coining from the dark and 
sterile recesses of the mountain-gorges into this flourishing valley : 
and he is struck with wonder at the immense results produced in 
so short a time by a handful of individuals. This is the result of 
the guidance of all those hands by one master-mind ;* and we see 
a comfortable people residing where, it is not too much to say, the 
ordinary mode of subduing and settling our wild lands could never 
have been applied. To accomplish this, there was required 
religious fervour, with the flame fanned by the breezes of enthu- 
siasm, the encircling of bands into the closest union, by the out- 
ward pressure of persecution ; the high hopes of laying up a 
prospective reward, and returning to their deserted homes in great 
prosperity ; the belief of re-enacting* the journey of the IsraeHtish 
Church under another Moses, through the Egypt already passed, 
to arrive at another Jerusalem, more heavenly in its origin, and 
beautiful in its proportions and decorations. Single families on 

* Brigham Young. 
26 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

that line of travel would have starved, or fallen by the treachery 
of the Sioux, the cunning of the Crows and Shoshones, or the 
hatred of the savage Utahs. Concert and courage of the best 
kind were required and brought into the field, and the result is 
before us — to their own minds, as the direct blessing and interpo- 
sition of Providence ; to others, the natural reward of associated 

industiy and perseverance Their comparative comfort and 

degree of prosperity is significantly shewn by the fact, that they 
canvassed the country, to ascertain how many inmates there would 
be for a poor-house, and finding only two disposed to ask public 
bounty, they concluded that it was not yet time to build a house 
of charity ; and this among the thousands who, three years before, 
were deprived of their property, and could with the utmost 
difficulty transport their families into the valley ! ' 

Among no people is the dignity of labour held more sacred than 
by the Mormons. The excellency and honourableness of work 
is exemplified in their whole polity and organisation. 'A lazy 
person/ we are told, ' is either accursed, or likely to be ; usefulness 
is their motto ; and those who will not keep themselves, or try 

their best, are left to starve into industiy The labour 

for support of one's self and family is taught to be of as divine a 
character as public worship and prayer. In practice, their views 
unite them so as to procure all the benefits of social Christianity 
without running into communism. The priest and the bishop 
make it their boast that, like Paul the tent-maker, they earn their 
bread by the sweat of their brow ; and teach by example on the 
week-day what they preach on the Sabbath.' 

The territory of Utah is extensive, but it is calculated that 
hardly one acre in ten is fit for profitable cultivation. Immense 
tracts of pasturage around the cultivable spots are held in common, 
and are not intended to be given up to the possession of individuals. 
It is worthy of being mentioned, that when the Mormons arrived 
in the valley, they did not quarrel about the fertile, eligible plots, 
but put a portion under cultivation jointly, and made equitable 
apportionment of the proceeds of the crop, according to the skill, 
labour, and seed contributed. The city was laid off into lots, 
which, by mutual consent, were assigned by the presidency, on a 
plan of equitable and judicious distribution. It is true, after the 
assignments were made, some persons commenced the usual 
speculations of selling according to eligibility of situation; but 
this called forth anathemas from the spiritual power, and no one 
was permitted to traffic for the sake of profit. If any sales were 
to be made, the first cost and actual value of improvements were 
all that was to be allowed. < The land belongs to the Lord/ it 
was said, l and his Saints are to use so much as each can work 
profitably.' 

The Great Salt Lake city, which is laid out in squares, is 
described as a place of great attractions. The streets are 132 feet 
wide, with 20 feet side- walks ; and a creek which runs through 

27 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

the city, is so divided as to run along* each walk and water a 
colonnade of trees, and is made likewise to communicate with the 
gardens. The lots contain nearly an acre each, and face on alter- 
nate streets, with eight lots in every block. The site of the city 
is slightly sloping, with the exception of a part to the north, 
where it rises into a sort of natural terrace. It is four miles 
square, and is watered by several small streams, and a canal 
twelve miles long-, besides being bounded on the western side by 
the Jordan river. Besides this central city, there are four other 
colonies which have branched off from it; and towns, with 
thickly-populated and rapidly-growing suburbs, extend along a 
line of 200 miles of country. Various public edifices have been 
built, or are now in progress of erection. In one place, a large 
and commodious state-house was completed iu 1850; and there is 
a wooden railway laid down to certain quarries some miles dis- 
tant, for the purpose of transporting the fine red sandstone to a 
situation called the Temple Block, ' where a gorgeous pile is to be 
•erected, which shall surpass in magnificence any yet built by 
man, and which shall be second only to that finally to be con- 
structed by themselves, when the presidency shall be installed at 
the New Jerusalem, on the temple-site of Zion.' 

The system of government under which the Mormons live is 
described by themselves as a ' Theo-democracy .' They are organised 
into a state, with all the order of legislative, judicial, and executive 
offices, regularly filled, under a constitution said to be eminently 
republican in sentiment, and tolerant in religion. The president 
of the church is the temporal civil governor, and rules in virtue 
of prophetic right over the community. They profess to stand, in 
a civil capacity, like the Israelites of old under their leader Moses. 
The legislature can make no law to regulate the revelations of the 
prophet, save in so far as may be necessary to carry them into 
practical effect. The entire management and ultimate control of 
everything is vested in the presidency, which consists of three 
persons — the seer, and two counsellors of his selection. It is this 
board that governs the universal Mormon church; — called universal, 
because they claim to have preached in almost every nation, and 
in every congressional district of the United States ; and have 
established societies called ' Stakes of Zion,' on the model of their 
home-assembly, on the islands of the ocean, and on either conti- 
nent. All are bound to obey the presidency — at home, in all 
things ; and abroad, in things spiritual, independent of every 
consideration — and the converts are commanded to gather to the 
mountains as fast as may be convenient and compatible with their 
character and situation. 

The reason for this command is grounded in those peculiar 
spiritual pretensions which have all along conduced to separate 
the Mormons from other civilised communities. The leading 
pretension is, that they constitute the only true church of God. 
and Jesus Christ; and they profess to rest their hopes on the 

28 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

expectation of divine intervention in gathering to themselves all 
Who are destined and prepared to embrace the ' true and ever- 
lasting gospel.' When their numbers shall be complete, they 
suppose that all the sects of Christendom will be absorbed into the 
one which will be most concentrated and numerous. This amal- 
gamated host will then constitute what they seem to regard as 
the army of Antichrist, which, ' under the banner of the Pope of 
Home,' will prepare to confront the Saints of the Latter Days in 
mortal conflict. In the contest, the Saints expect to be victorious ; 
and then the earth will become their undivided property, and 
Christ will descend from heaven to reign over them through a 
blissful millennium. 

It were idle to say anything about the absurdity of the claims 
thus cursorily summed up ; and, indeed, it is matter of question 
whether the Mormons will long continue to entertain them. We 
suspect that even now they obtain but little recognition, except 
among the speculative and most visionary of the priestly orders, 
and are by them for the most part reserved as esoteric mysteries. 
We are told that the preaching from the pulpit, and the usual 
extempore teachings, are restricted to the promulgation of doctrines 
like those commonly inculcated by the Christian sects which hold 
to faith, repentance, baptism, and the resurrection of the body. 
' Their mode of conducting worship is to assemble at a particular 
hour, and the senior priest then indicates order by asking a blessing 
on the congregation and exercises, when a hymn from their own 
collection is sung, prayer made extempore, and another sacred 
song, followed by a sermon from some one previously appointed 
to preach, which is usually continued by exhortations and re- 
marks from those who " feel moved upon to speak." Then notice 
of the arrangement of the tithe-labour for the ensuing week, 
and information on all secular matters interesting to them in a 
church capacity, is read by the council-clerk, and the congregation 
dismissed by a benediction.' * Everything* of a gloomy or sombre 
character is excluded from the ordinances ; and during the assem- 
bling and departure of the congregation, their feelings are exhila- 
rated by an excellent band of music playing marches, waltzes, and 
animating anthems. 

In all their social and domestic relations, the Mormons are 
represented as being uniformly cheerful. Though professedly 
living in anticipation of a miraculous millennium, they object not 
to enjoy the hour that now is, and cordially participate in all the 
healthful and gladdening satisfactions which this temporary state 
affords. It is one of their peculiarities to blend the serious with 
the gay, and to invest their most light and frivolous pastimes with 
a kind of religious sanction. ' In their social gatherings and 
evening-parties,' says Lieutenant Gunnison, ' patronised by the 
presence of the prophets and apostles, it is not unusual to open the 

* Gunnison. 

29 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

ball with prayer, asking the blessing of God upon their amusements, 
as well as upon any other engagement ; and then will follow the 
most sprightly dancing, in which all join with hearty good-will, 
from the highest dignitary to the humblest individual ; and this 
exercise is to become part of the temple-worship, to " praise God 
in songs and dances." These private balls and soirees are fre- 
quently extended beyond the time of cock-crowing* by the younger 
members ; and the remains of the evening repast furnish the 
breakfast for the jovial guests. The cheerful happy faces, the 
self-satisfied countenances, the cordial salutation of brother or 
sister on all occasions of address, the lively strains of music pouring* 
forth from merry hearts in every domicile, as women and children 
sing their " songs of Zion," while plying the domestic tasks, give 
an impression of a happy society in the vales of Deseret.' 

In only one respect can the Mormons be said to outrage the 
ordinary morality of mankind — and that is in what has been styled 
1 their peculiar institution of polygamy.' ' That many have a 
large number of wives in Deseret,' says Gunnison, 'is perfectly 
manifest to any one residing long among' them ; and, indeed, the 
subject begins to be more openly discussed than formerly • and it 
is announced that a treatise is in preparation, to prove by the 
Scriptures the right of plurality by all Christians, if not to declare 
their own practice of the same.' This we must regard as a serious 
and debasing blemish in their ' patriarchal ' form of life, tending, 
as it manifestly does, to the inevitable dishonouring of women, 
and the desecration of the holy ties of family. It seems probable, 
however, that among a people so generally earnest and sincere, 
there is natural health and virtue enough to lead them back 
eventually to a nobler and purer relation of the sexes — to that 
sacred and only natural relation which from the first has been 
ordained to man and woman. 

There are some other disturbing' elements in Mormonism, which 
are most likely destined to be cast out or modified, if their peculiar 
social polity is ever to be anything- but a temporary experiment. 
Right as they may be, theoretically, in holding that just and proper 
human government rests upon a true interpretation of the divine 
will, their practical exemplification of the principle is nothing more 
than a product of the human will — the will, namely, of the seer — 
supported and directed by such judgment, intelligence, and other 
mere natural ability which he may happen to possess. If the 
voice of the seer were, in fact, the voice of God, all would indeed 
be well, and their theocratical pretensions might seem to be suffi- 
ciently established. But so long as we have only the seer's word, 
and the assertions of his disciples in support of the assumption, the 
claim of a divine right to govern must be tested by its results ; and 
whether these be admirable or the contrary, the power of a ruler 
acting by so indefinite a right, resolves itself into a manifestation 
of pure despotism. While the despotism is just, and the people 
comparatively incompetent to take part in the management of 

30 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

their political affairs, such a system of government may be pro- 
ductive of advantages, and in most respects answer the needs and 
ends of the society; but as education spreads, and the perennial inspi- 
ration of the seer comes to be doubted or denied, a pretension so arro- 
gant and preposterous will inevitably produce rebellions, and must 
finally go the way of all the shams that have been annihilated. This 
the present president, Brigham Young, apparently perceives, for we 
hear that, with praiseworthy caution, he is ' wary of giving- reve- 
lations/ and seems to be waiting for the time when they may be 
quietly dispensed with. He tells the people that the prophet has 
left more work carved out, than several years of faithful diligence 
will accomplish ; and until all the duties thus entailed have been 
fulfilled, he does not consider it needful to ask for any more light 
from Heaven ! 

In drawing what we have written to a close, our own conclusion 
is, that the Mormon doctrines are for the most part nonsense, but 
that what the Mormons do is in many ways commendable. The 
world may very well permit them to indulge in their millennial 
fancies and patriarchal crotchets, so long as they live peaceably 
and honestly among themselves, and make no intolerant aggres- 
sions on the beliefs and religious systems that differ from their 
own. Their steadfast and honourable industry, the unity of aim 
and sentiment that subsists among them, their zealous devotion to 
a central idea, their reverent, if perverted, recognition of a Supreme 
Power over them, the pleasant fellowship that results from their 
social regulations, and the robust and sterling* independence by 
which they are distinguished as a community; these, and other 
highly creditable qualities and characteristics, assuredly entitle 
them to the honest respect of all candid and discriminating persons, 
and must sooner or later secure for them an extensive and deserv- 
ing admiration. Nothing but good-will and an indulgent charity 
are due to these earnest, stalwart children of the desert — these 
rough and intrepid backwoodsmen of the universe — who, called by 
a voice which they but imperfectly understand, have nevertheless 
gone forth to subdue and cultivate a remote and barren region, so 
that, instead of the heath and the brushwood, it may bear grain 
for the food of man, and become a blossoming and fruitful garden 
for his habitation and delight. Not inaptly have they been likened 
to the Puritans of New England ; for although their professing faith 
is different, they resemble them thoroughly in their hardy isolation 
and exclusiveness, and are endowed with the like invincibility of 
purpose ; they are as energetic and as enduring ; they have sus- 
tained persecutions more fiery and desolating, have toiled against 
all imaginable obstructions for liberty to work and live, contended 
bravely with wild Indians and the hordes of pestilent outlaws that 
lurk about the frontiers of civilisation ; they have passed through 
many and enormous perils in roadless prairies and primeval forests, 
in rocky fastnesses and on the waves of bridgeless rivers ; and after 
the severest struggles and endurance, they have at last made for 

31 



HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. 

themselves a prosperous and peaceful home in the bosom of the 
wilderness. These people are not to be despised, nor too much 
taunted with the impositions or irregularities of their founders ; 
for whatever may have been the moral state of Mormon society in 
times past, according to all reliable testimony, great improvement 
has been for a long- while steadily going on, and is sufficient to 
justify us in the belief, that in regard to the few peculiarities of 
conduct which demand our reprehension, there will eventually be 
a decided and permanent reformation. Their successful exempli- 
fication of a great social principle — the principle of concert in 
employments, and in the distribution of the products of their 
industry, along with the many solid and generous virtues which 
are daily manifested by their common lives and conversation — 
may be fairly considered proof of a large preponderance of worth, 
sufficient to overbalance the few admitted sins they may be guilty 
of; and considering that there is no society in which there is so 
little habitual crime and misery, and so large an amount of general 
comfort and wellbeing, the Mormon polity may be said to be 
admirably suited to the people living under it, and to answer all 
the ends for which it has been constituted. As a plan for obtaining 
the aggregate result of single efforts, it is the best social and 
industrial experiment that has yet been tried on any considerable 
scale. Summed up in the words of one of the Mormon writers — 
a man of no indifferent learning and ability — it is a polity 
intended to enable and induce ' each person to operate at what and 
where he can do best, and with all his might; being subject to 
the counsel of those above him.' In an enterprise so nobly philo- 
sophical and judicious, no unprejudiced or discerning mind can 
wish them anything but a continued and prolonged success. 







CHAMBERS'S 

REPOSITORY. 




LIBERIA. 

l<^^ HE little African republic of Liberia has of late 
years excited in this country and other parts of 
^Europe, as well as in America, an amount of 
interest which, unless its sources were known, 
^ would appear quite out of proportion to the actual 
^ importance of that infant commonwealth. A small 
flft" community of emancipated slaves and descendants 
'of slaves, recently established on a remote and unfre- 
quented coast, would seem likely to attract but little 
notice, and that only of a casual and half - contemptuous 
kind. Such would certainly have been the manner and spirit in 
No. 57. i 




LIBERIA. 

which Roman statesmen and philosophers, in the days of Scipio 
or of Augustus, would have regarded such an insignificant 
colony of freedmen, if indeed they had deigned to notice it at 
all. But at the present day we have learned, or are gradually 
learning, to estimate communities, as well as individuals, by 
a new standard. The result is, that this young and feeble 
colony, whose brief history inspires so many hopes for the cause 
of human progress, is regarded by many persons with an interest 
which might almost be termed affectionate. The extinction of 
the slave-trade, and ultimately of slavery itself— the diffusion of 
Christian civilisation over the vast interior of Africa — such are the 
splendid results which philanthropists and politicians expect from 
the success and extension of this settlement. Men of science and 
men of business, who confine their attention to their own special 
pursuits, cannot but regard with curiosity and good-will the pros- 
perous growth of a community which seems destined to solve the 
long-vexed question of the capacity of the African race for self- 
government, and to convert the African peninsula into a vast 
garden of tropical products for the supply of industrious and 
wealthy Europe. 

Views and expectations like these influencing the minds of 
eminent statesmen in this and some other countries, have led them 
to form favourable treaties with the young republic— to protect its 
interests with friendly care, to receive its chief magistrate with 
the honours reserved for the most distinguished visitors, and to 
manifest in other ways the peculiar regard which the colony seems 
to awaken in all who are acquainted with its history and character. 
The same feelings, it is hoped, will lend an interest, in the eyes of 
many readers, to the following account of the past fortunes and 
present condition of the settlement. The facts embodied in this 
narrative, it should be stated, have been obtained in part from 
publications of good authority, and in part from the communi- 
cations of respectable inhabitants of the colony. 

A history of the Liberian republic, to be fully intelligible, must 
be preceded by a description of its situation and present extent. 
In most of our modern maps, the coast of Upper Guinea is 
divided into four sections, styled respectively, beginning from the 
east, the Slave Coast, the Gold Coast, the Ivory Coast, and the 
Grain Coast. The three first-named divisions face to the south- 
ward, the line of coast running nearly east and west, and forming 
the northern shore of the Gulf of Guinea. But at Cape Palmas, 
which is the western limit of the Ivory Coast, the line of coast 
bends to the north-east, facing the Atlantic Ocean, and keeps on 
in this direction beyond Sierra Leone, nearly to the mouth of the 
river Gambia. The southern portion of this coast, between Cape 
Palmas and Sierra Leone, is the fertile region formerly known as 
the Grain Coast. The native inhabitants, though as barbarous in 
most respects as their neighbours, were somewhat more indus- 
trious, and more addicted to agricultural pursuits. The slave- 

2 



LIBERIA. 

dealers, as well as the honest traders who visited the Guinea 
Coast, were accustomed to purchase here their supplies of rice, and 
such other provisions as the country afforded. The influence of 
this trade upon the inhabitants, had it not been counteracted by 
one more powerful, would have been highly beneficial ; but, 
unhappily, the slave-trade was at the same time carried on here 
with great activity, and with the usual results. The native 
population was first demoralised by it, and then nearly exter- 
minated. The destructive effects of the African slave-trade have 
only of late years become fully known. It is probable that, 
during 1 the past century, the population of a great part of Africa, 
and more particularly of the regions near the coast, has been 
constantly diminishing from this cause alone. In the year 1823, 
shortly after the arrival of the first Liberian colonists on the Grain 
Coast, the governor of the settlement travelled about 150 miles 
along that coast. There were indications sufficient to shew that 
the countr} r had formerly been very populous. He found it 
1 nearly desolated of inhabitants,' and covered with dense forests 
and almost impervious thickets of brambles. Of one of the 
streams, on which he had purchased a site for a colonial village, 
he wrote : ' Along this beautiful river were formerly scattered, in 
Africa's better days, innumerable hamlets ; and till within the last 
twenty years, nearly the whole river-board, for one or two miles 
back, was under that slight culture which obtains among the 
natives of this country. But the population has been wasted by 
the rage for trading in slaves. A few detached and solitary plan- 
tations, scattered at ^cmg" intervals through the tract, just serve to 
interrupt the silence and relieve the gloom which reigns over the 
whole region.' 

Such was the state of that part of the country in which Liberia 
was founded. The whole of the Grain Coast, from the colony of 
Sierra Leone on the north, to Cape Palmas on the south, is now 
comprised within the territory of that republic. The length of 
this line of coast is about 500 miles. The average breadth of the 
colonial territory, between the coast and the independent tribes of 
the interior, is about 40 miles. The extent of country over which 
the republic now exercises jurisdiction is not less than 20,000 
square miles. This is nearly three times the area of Wales, or 
about equal to two-thirds of Scotland. But the population of 
the republic, though rapidly increasing, is as yet by no means 
commensurate with its extent, or with the natural capabilities 
of the country. It comprises only about 12,000 colonists from 
America, with about 340,000 natives, who have voluntarily placed 
themselves under the laws of the commonwealth. But along this 
coast the slave-trade has been entirely abolished. Cultivation of 
the soil is rapidly extending. The forests and brambles are already 
in many parts cleared away. Where once stood the innumerable 
hamlets of pagan savages, Christian villages are springing up. 
Small colonial schooners, laden with palm-oil, dye-woods, rice, 

3 



LIBERIA. 

coffee, and other products of the country, ply constantly along the 
coast, where, fifty years ago, even the pirate and the slave-trader 
sometimes hesitated to hind, so great was their dread of the tierce 
and treacherous tribes that inhabited it. On what was, at one 
time, the site of the principal slave-mart of the Grain Coast, is 
now situated the capital of Liberia — a thriving- seaport town, of 
2000 inhabitants, with its stores and wharfs, its light-house and 
fort, its court-house, schools, churches, newspapers, and literary 
and charitable associations. In the following pages, we propose 
to sketch, as briefly as possible, the causes and events by which 
these astonishing and delightful changes have been effected. 

About the close of the year 1816, an association was formed 
at Washington, styled the American Colonisation Society for 
Colonising 1 the Free People of Colour of the United States. The 
founders of this society were a few benevolent Americans, who 
felt deeply for the unhappy condition of the coloured inhabitants 
of their country, both bond and free. On some accounts, indeed, 
the free negroes in America are even more to be pitied than the 
slaves. With the natural aspirations of freemen, they find them- 
selves depressed into an inferior caste, repulsed from the society 
of the white race, and excluded from all but the most humble and 
least lucrative employments. The object for which the Colonisa- 
tion Society was established, was to found on the coast of Africa, 
or in some other place bej^ond the limits of the United States, a 
colony of free coloured people from America. The originators of 
the society did not, however, confine their views merely to the 
deportation of persons previously free ; on the contrary, they 
anticipated that many slaves would be emancipated by their 
owners for the express purpose of sending them to the colony. 
The event has shewn that these expectations were well founded. 
More than half of the colonists now in Liberia were originally slaves, 
and would probably have remained in that condition but for the 
establishment of the colony. If the Colonisation Society had done 
nothing more than procure the freedom of 5000 slaves, and place 
them in comfortable circumstances, its members would have 
abundant reason to be satisfied with their work. But the society 
has accomplished much more than this. The real purpose which 
some of its most intelligent and far-seeing founders had in view, 
was of a much vaster scope : they meant to discover and open a 
way by which the emancipation of all the slaves in the United 
States might ultimately be effected. It is true that this expecta- 
tion — which might, if publicly proclaimed, have fixed upon them 
at the time the reputation of visionaries — was kept in a measure 
out of view. But abundant evidence remains to shew, that the 
purpose and hope were really entertained by them ; and the fact 
ought to be remembered to their credit, now that their noble and 
philanthropic design seems to be in a fair way for accomplishment. 

Although some of the most eminent public men of America, 
including the late distinguished statesmen, Mr Henry Clay and 
4 



LIBERIA. 

Mr Daniel Webster, were members of the society, it was from the 
beginning a private association, dependent for its resources entirely 
on voluntary contributions. The slight assistance which it occa- 
sionally received from the government, was given through an 
indirect channel. A few Africans, liberated from slave-ships, were 
placed by President Monroe in charge of the society, with the funds 
necessary for their support. The American men-of-war cruising- 
on the coast of Africa gave, on some occasions, valuable aid and 
protection to the settlement; though, as it happened, the most 
important succour which the colony ever received, was given 
shortly after its establishment by a British ship and a British 
military oiheer. 

The members of the society seem to have relied much from the 
first on the sympathy and interest which their undertaking would 
awaken in this country. The two agents who were sent out in 
1S17 to purchase a site for the settlement, came first to London, and 
sought the counsel of Mr Wilberforce, MrClarkson, and other dis- 
tinguished and influential friends of the African race. As maybe 
supposed, they were cordially welcomed, and the advice and aid 
they required were readily given. From England, they sailed 
for Sierra Leone, where they met with an equally friendly reception. 
Every desired facility was afforded to them ; and two intelligent 
men from that colony accompanied them as guides and inter- 
preters ill their voyage down the coast. They selected for the site 
of their first settlement the island of Sherboro, situated near the 
coast, about 120 miles south of Sierra Leone. In returning to 
America, one of the agents, Mr Samuel Mills, who had also been 
one of the most active in founding the Colonisation Society, 
sickened and died, probably of disease contracted on the coast. 
His name is the lirst in a long list of martyrs who have fallen 
victims to their zeal for the accomplishment of this benevolent 
enterprise. Nearly 100 white men, Americans and English, 
have thus perished while aiding in founding the republic of 
Liberia. 

In February 18-20, the first emigrant ship sailed from New York 
for the African coast. There were on board thirty families of 
colonists, comprising in all eighty-nine individuals. They were 
under the charge of three white men, one of whom was a clergy- 
man, and another a medical man. They touched at Sierra Leone, 
where they were kindly received. An American man-of-war 
arrived shortly after them, and a lieutenant, with a boat's crew, 
went with them to aid in forming their settlement on Sherboro 
Island. The result of this first attempt was most disastrous. The 
island was low, and covered in most parts with a dense jungle : it 
proved to be one of the most unhealthy spots along that pestilential 
coast. Within a few months the three agents, the lieutenant with 
all his boat's crew — every white man, in short, who took part in 
the expedition, died of the African fever; twenty of the emigrants 
shared their fate. The remainder were conveyed back to Sierra 



LIBERIA. 

Leone, where the governor generously provided for them until the 
Colonisation Society was able to resume its charge of them. 

When the news of this deplorable issue of the first experiment 
reached America, some members of the society were for giving up 
the whole undertaking as a hopeless affair, but the majority deter- 
mined to persevere. Four gentlemen undertook the perilous office 
of agents — a duty on which they must have entered with feelings 
somewhat similar to those which animate the volunteers who lead 
a forlorn-hope in an assault upon a, strongly garrisoned fortress. 
Two of the four were clergymen, and one of them was a brother 
of one who had just before perished on Sherboro Island. In less than 
six months after their arrival on the African coast, two of the agents 
died, another returned in broken health to America, and the fourth 
was left alone. He was presently joined, however, by a fellow- 
worker, a physician from Philadelphia, who volunteered for this 
service. It is worthy of notice, that although the almost inevitable 
fate which awaited those who were engaged in this duty was well 
known, the society seem never to have had any difficulty in finding 
zealous and well-qualified persons to undertake it. The last- 
mentioned volunteer, Dr Ayres, aided by Captain Stockton of the 
American navy, succeeded in purchasing a small tract of land, in a 
locality which happily proved to be the most eligible site for the 
colony that could have been chosen. This was at Cape Montser- 
rado— a name sometimes corrupted to Mesurado — on the Grain 
Coast, about 300 miles south-east of Sierra Leone. The cape is a 
long promontory, rising about 200 feet above the general low level 
of the coast, and jutting boldly forward into the sea. On the north 
side is a small bay, with a roadstead, offering a safe anchorage for 
shipping. To this place the emigrants were transported from 
Sierra Leone, and on the 25th of April 1822, the American flag 
was hoisted on the cape, and the foundation was commenced of 
what is now the capital town of the Liberian Republic. The 
colonists who had survived the fever on Sherboro Island, were 
found to be thoroughly acclimated, and as healthy as they had 
been in America. There was reason to hope that the colony, being 
at length fairly established in a favourable situation, would 
continue to grow and prosper. 

The little settlement had yet, however, some severe trials to go 
through. A few months after the colonists had taken up their 
residence on Cape Montserrado, the neighbouring tribes formed 
a confederacy to expel or exterminate them. The land they 
occupied had been fairly purchased; but the native chiefs, who 
derived most of their revenue from the slave-trade, soon discovered 
that this source of wealth would be entirely cut off by the new 
settlement. They feared, also, and naturally enoug'h, that the 
colonists, gradually increasing in numbers and strength, would 
seize upon the whole country, and destroy or drive away the native 
occupants. This was the manner in which powerful chiefs among 
themselves were accustomed to treat their weaker neighbours, and 

6 



LIBERIA. 

they could not suppose that the colonists would act upon a different 
system. Fortunately, at this time, the settlement was governed 
by a man of angular ability and energy, Mr Ashmun, then just 
appointed agent of the Colonisation Society, and known in the 
annals of Liberia as the first governor, and the real founder of 
the infant state. Mr Ashmun was a young" man, who had been 
tnrnrod m literary labour in the United States. His remarkable 
capacity for the management of affairs was probably not known 
even to himself until it was called forth by the circumstances of 
his new position. These were of such a nature as would have 
appalled an ordinary mind. He arrived in the midst of the rainy 
season. On landing", accompanied by his wife, he found that 
neither for himself nor for the fifty emigrants whom he brought 
with him was there any shelter provided. Only about thirty huts 
had been erected, and these were barely sufficient to accommodate 
the colonists already in the settlement. An accidental fire had 
recently consumed the greater part of the colony's stores. The 
natives were threatening- hostilities, and no works of defence had 
been constructed. During* three months, Mr Ashmun laboured 
incessantly to supply these deficiencies, and insure the safety of 
the colony. He had cabins hastily constructed for the shelter of 
his company. The colony had six small pieces of artillery, some 
of which were half buried in the mud on the opposite side of the 
river. These were disinterred, broug-ht over, and dragged, with 
great labour, up the steep bank to the height on which the town 
via built. They were then mounted on rude carnages, planted 
about the town in commanding" positions, and covered by stockades. 
All the men in the settlement, only forty in number, were enrolled, 
drilled, told off into watches, and carefully instructed in their 
several duties. The forest, which encroached closely upon the 
little settlement, was cleared away, so that it might not afford a 
cover for the enemy. Mr Ashmun, while directing" these labours, 
had to endure great sufferings. His wife, to whom he was tenderly 
attached, became ill with the fever, and died about six weeks after 
they landed. Mr Ashmun himself, attacked by the same illness, 
and oppressed with grief and toil, was for a time disabled. He 
lay for several days insensible; but as soon as he had partially 
recovered, he resumed his duties with indomitable resolution. 
After a night of delirium, he sometimes spent the following morn- 
ing in directing the important works which were going on. He 
made repeated efforts to conciliate the hostile chiefs by negotia- 
tions and by presents, but without success. Finding' that war 
was inevitable, he took care to be prepared in time. He states in 
the journal, and the fact should be mentioned as an evidence of his 
forethought and good judgment, that he i had arranged a plan for 
obtaining intelligence, which left him ignorant of none of their 
movements ; and by the singular fidelity and diligence of an indi- 
vidual, whose name it was still necessary to conceal, was perfectly 
informed of the temper and stand of every influential headman in 

7 



LIBERIA. 

the country, and often furnished with the very arguments used by 
them in their debates.' 

At length, on the morning- of the 11th of November 1822, 
the threatened attack took place. A thousand savage warriors, 
armed with jnuskets and cutlasses, rushed suddenly upon the little 
village of the colonists. Their first assault was made with such 
violence as to be irresistible. One of the guns was captured, and 
several of the defenders killed or wounded. But the assailants 
having stopped to plunder some of the houses, time was given for 
the colonists to rally and bring* the other pieces of artillery to 
bear upon the enemy. This was done with such effect, that the 
barbarians were soon thrown into confusion, and at last lied in 
dismay. They carried off, however, some of the spoil they had 
obtained, and seven small children whom they had seized in the 
houses. These children were restored unhurt to their friends after 
the conclusion of the war. Mr Ashmun now attempted again to 
resume negotiations with the chiefs, but they were in a bad tem- 
per, and refused to treat with him, still believing themselves strong- 
enough to crush his little band by a bold and well-combined effort. 
Accordingly, on the 1st of December, a second attack was made 
on the town, which was assaulted on two sides at once with great 
fury and determination. The enemy, though promptly encoun- 
tered and repeatedly driven back, kept up the contest for nearly 
two hours. The colonists, however, were so well sheltered by the 
fortifications, that only three of them were severely hurt, one of 
whom died from the effects of his wounds. The enemy's loss in 
both the assaults was heavy, though its exact amount was not 
known. 

The discomfited but sullen chiefs still refused to come to an 
accommodation. The situation of the colonists had become 
well-nigh desperate : they had only provisions in the settlement 
sufficient to last for fifteen days — their supplies from the country 
were entirely cut off by the besieging force ; and they had only 
two rounds of ammunition left for their guns. From this perilous 
condition they were rescued in a remarkable manner. On the 
night after the last attack, the watch on duty heard a suspicious 
noise, and, fearing an ambuscade, tired off' some muskets and a 
cannon. It proved to be a false alarm ; but the report of the gun 
was fortunately heard on board an English government schooner, 
which was just then passing- Cape Montserrado, on its way from 
Sierra Leone to Cape Coast Castle. The discharge of artillery at 
midnight, on a barbarous coast, was a strange and unaccountable 
event, which naturally excited curiosity. The schooner lay-to till 
morning, when a boat was sent on shore. The character and 
situation of the colonists, as soon as the circumstances were known, 
excited great sympathy, and every aid that could be given to them 
was at once afforded. Among the passengers in the schooner was 
Major Laing, the distinguished African traveller, who at once 
offered his mediation to bring- about a restoration of peace. British 

8 



LIBERIA. 



influence was then and still is, powerful along- that coast: and the 
hostile chiefs humbled by two defeats, were glad to accept the 
terms proposed by Major Laing. Peace was concluded, and a good 
understanding- for the first time seemed to prevail between the 
colonists and the natives. Some fear of treachery, however was 
still entertained ; and when the schooner departed, on the 4th of 
December , midshipman Gordon with eleven sailors volunteered 
to remain behind, to watch over the execution of the treatv, and 
protect the colony. But these warm-hearted seamen were destined 
only to swell the dismal list of victims who have perished in this 
benevolent work. Within four weeks after the sailin- of the 
schooner, Gordon and eight of his men, struck down by the 
poisonous malaria of the coast, were borne to their -raves bV the 
sorrowing- colonists. A t'esv months afterwards, an American 
man-of-war cast anchor in Montserrado Bav, and the officers and 
crew, animated by similar feelings, spent three weeks in strength- 
ening- the fortifications, improving the building-s, attendino- the 
wounded, and otherwise assisting, the colonists. By that W 
the : inevitable fever -began its ravages. The surgeon was the first 
victom ; and though the vessel put to sea immediately, forty men 
of the crew died before the pestilence was subdued. Thus the 
Angel of Death guards the threshold of Africa from the tread of 
the conquering- white race, and preserves the land as the future 
home of its own oppressed and far-scattered children ' 

Since this first struggle for existence, the colony has never been 
in serious danger from the hostility of the native tribes. Its chief- 
town has not again been attacked, and the colonists now consider 
themselves as safe in it as they would be in America. Nor has 
here been another confederacy of many chiefs against the colony- 
but, on several occasions, small outlying villages have been assailed 
by marauding chieftains, who have be & en unlble to restrain their 
own warlike propensities or those of their followers. In two or 
three cases , these attacks have been incited bv slave-dealers, who 
have found that the extension of the colonv was putting an end to 
their atrocious traffic. The result has been, iii ever v cTse that 
the volunteer or militia forces of the colonv, usualh Sadec by the 
governor in person, have been able to subdue the enemy and put 
an end to the war, if such it could be called, in one or two com 

w r • ,-Pt lie i 1 T n ^ th V S ^ d ^ success of the Iberians in their 
m,P^ . i ? ln ? e C1 . r ? umst *nce that they make no con- 
quests, and exact no indemnities. All the land they possess has 

toTr^d'i^ VT ° f PeaCe * A h0Stile ^-ff^ho ceases 
land 8 ,,Zi Wlllin f: f t0 come , t0 terms > i3 allowed to retain his 
colonv tK c ,°. n ? ltl0n J 0f .f fitting to the general laws of the 
•, In J' chl f and tnh ™ ^ve sought this union with the 
the Jtf L ?T'- h ° Vmg t0 find the ™elves thus protected from 
well < 1 k %° f thei " m ° r l P ° VVerful neighbours. In this way, as 
TrlJ b y ^quent purchases of land with funds supplied from 
Amenca and from this country, the authority of the colony ha 



LIBERIA. 

been gradually extended over about a quarter of a million of the 
native inhabitants. 

One other important event in Mr Ashmun's administration 
remains to be noticed. It has been seen how that gentleman, a 
student and a writer of books, suddenly displayed great energy 
and large mental resources in the performance of the practical 
duties of his office. It might have been expected that he would 
be found still more at home in whatever concerned the theory of 
government. Curiously enough, it was in this alone that he 
failed. He did not perceive that, to insure the complete success 
of any colony, but, above all, of a colony like Liberia, it was 
essential that the settlers should have, in a great measure, if not 
entirely, the management of their own affairs ; and he greatly 
underrated the capacity of the colonists for self-government. By 
a rather strange oversight, although the colony was founded for 
the purpose of testing the ability of the coloured people to govern 
themselves, no provision had been made by the Colonisation 
Society for enabling the first emigrants to take any part in its 
public administration. The society's agent had absolute power in 
the settlement. During the first year of danger and distress, the 
common perils and labours occupied the attention of all ; and little 
heed was given to other subjects, however important. But at 
length when peace was restored and trade commenced with the 
natives, when new settlers arrived and fresh distributions of land 
took place, the natural interest which free citizens must feel in the 
affairs of their community began to be awakened. Some acts of 
the agent excited dissatisfaction. The colonists demurred to his 
exercise of absolute authority, and demanded a share in the 
government. At length the excitement became a mutiny. Mr 
Ashmun met it with his usual energy, and partially repressed it 
by a fervid and solemn appeal to the gratitude and reason of the 
colonists, reminding them of the duties which they owed to the 
parent association, and of the evils which would follow if they 
should then break off their connection with the society. 'The 
authority of the United States and the Colonisation Society,' he 
finally warned them, ' must be re-established in all its perfection 
on this cape, or you must scatter and perish.' The appeal pro- 
duced a considerable effect. The mutineers submitted ; but the 
discontent was not allayed. 

Happily, just at this time the Colonisation Society had deter- 
mined to repair the original omission in their plans. Some inkling 
of the state of affairs in the colony had reached home, and it was 
determined to send out a special agent, with full powers for the 
redress of grievances. The Rev. Mr Gurley undertook this office, 
and executed it in a manner which produced a very beneficial effect. 
Of Mr Ashmun's general system of management, he found every 
reason for approving; and he persuaded that gentleman to give 
up his intention of returning to the United States, and continue 
in charge of the settlement. But on the self-government question, 
10 



LIBERIA. 



Mr Gurley perceived that the colonists were in the ri"ht Assem- 
bling- all the men, to the number of about 100, in their little 
church, he laid before them the plan of a constitution, by which 
the election of all public officers, except the agent (or o-overnor) 
and two magistrates, was to be committed, under certain reffula- 
tions, to the colonists. The supremacy of the society was still 
insisted upon, ior the present; but there was no probability that 
it would be exercised in a manner opposed to the wishes of the 
setters. The plan was cordially accepted by the colonists; and 
ah discontent vanished as soon as it was put in operation 

Mr Gurley, it should here be stated, besides a constitution, 
brought out also an appropriate name for the settlement. Hitherto 
| bad commonly been known as the Montserrado Colony • but 
the society had determined to rechristen it by the attractive' and 
significant appellation of LiBEitiA-the Land of Freedom The 
chief town, or Cape Montserrado, received the name of Monrovia 
in token of gratitude to President Monroe, who had done all 
tnat Jay in his power to favour the society's undertaking The 
progress of the colony during- the remainder of Mr Ashmun's 
tZL °® ce * as > n every way satisfactory. Peace was main- 
tained with the natives, and a profitable trade was opened with 
the tribes of the interior. Frequent arrivals of emigrants from 
America strengthened the colony, and led to the formation of new 
: dements. Most of these were on the St Paul's River, a fine 
ream which flows into the ocean near Montserrado Bay The 
settlers now began to apply themselves to agricultural" labours, 
to which many of them had been accustomed in America. Some 

1% nlT^ 6 ^T^ h} ' ? 6 cultivat01 '* before they learned to 
adapt their methods to the soil and climate of their new country 
1 heir crops were swept away by floods, devoured by insects, or" 
he «™ I T °{ ant £ lo P es > monkeys, and porcupines from 
tiLJf dmg " l0re ? ts ' But in time th * means of preventing- 
St? 8 T 6 dlscovered ; and Plantations of rice, maize, 
3 v P - tt0es ' bananas, oranges, and various other vegetables 
i™ -trees, were found to yield ample returns for the labour 
bestowed upon them. 

lns In hp^ Ch , 1828 '-. M !; Ash 1 mun Was spelled, by the failure of 
warmlv Sorb J^S.*" C ° hnj - T ^ e P eo P Ie > ^° had become 
TdTook o ?w 1 ° h 7l accom P anied mm in a body to the ship, 
He u^vivef L ' i f i h - m Wlth raai ^ y demonstrations of sorrow! 

afteru VrZ t W hlS ^T? COUnfl T> and died » few days 
after* aids at Newhaven, in Connecticut, where a monument 

msZZT eTG l ed t0 his mem ° ry ^ thQ Colonisation SocTety 
?" SUC n '? i he A?° v A e r mm f nt 0f the colon y f °r the next ten 
IkinnT. d f 'iT T u MechHn ' the Rev ' M * p mney, and Dr 

bkinner-appear to have been animated by a similar zeal, and to 

^cc\:° nd T% th : ***** ° f , th u 6 COl °^ w» discreLn and good 
other \I/ firStna , m r d of , th f e gentlemen died in office f the 
others withdrew in failing health, after two or three years cf 



LIBERIA.. 

service. The history of the colony during" this period comprises 
only the usual incidents — frequent purchases of territory, particu- 
larly along- the coast, with a view of suppressing- the slave-trade ; 
the arrival of emigrant ships ; the formation of new settlements ; 
the building- of churches and schools ; with occasionally some 
breach of the peace by a turbulent native chief, who, after being 
summarily put down by the Liberian volunteers, was usually glad 
to be received into favour and made a Liberian citizen. 

But while the colony was thus prospering-, the society to which 
it owed its existence underwent some remarkable vicissitudes. At 
the outset, its object and plans were reg-arded with much favour 
in the United States. Even those who doubted its success were 
disposed to admire the benevolence of its founders, whose g-ood 
intentions were not questioned. Such continued to be the state of 
public feeling- in reg-ard to the Colonisation Society during- the 
first ten or twelve years of its existence. At that time, although 
slavery, in the abstract, had few defenders in America, the strong 
and lively anti-slavery feeling- which now exists had not been 
awakened. It appears to have been first aroused by the indirect 
influence of the Colonisation Society. That association, being- sus- 
tained entirely by voluntary contributions, was oblig-ed, of course, 
to appeal frequently to the public for support, either throug-h 
newspapers and other periodicals, or in public meetings. One of 
the topics on which writers and speakers, in advocating- its claims, 
touched most frequently, was of course the evils of slavery, which 
the society hoped to mitigate, and perhaps finally to remove. The 
misery and hopeless degradation of two or three millions of slaves, 
and the disgrace of tolerating- such injustice in a land of liberty, 
furnished a theme on which the orators and writers of the society 
could dilate with powerful effect. In fact, the effect which their 
appeals produced was much greater than they anticipated or 
desired. Some of their hearers, men of log-ical minds and ardent 
tempers, began to ask why, if slavery was so great an evil, and 
so evident an injustice, its existence should be tolerated for a 
day. Should they delay to do justice until two or three millions 
of persons could be transported to Africa? What proof had they 
that the instant release of all the slaves in America would do any 
serious injury to the country ? And if they could be certain that 
it would, ought they not to do what was right, regardless of con- 
sequences? By such inquiries and arguments, the anti-slavery 
sentiment which has agitated the Union for the last twenty years 
was first aroused. It might have been expected that the advocates 
of the immediate abolition of slavery, if they did not think proper 
to aid the Colonisation Society, would at least have regarded it 
with some favour, seeing that one of its objects was to prove the 
capacity of the African race for enjoying the privileges of freedom 
without abusing them. The abolitionists, however, took a very 
different view of the question. They denounced the Colonisation 
Society as the worst enemy of the coloured man, whether slave or 

13 



LIBERIA. 



free. It was, they affirmed, a slaveholders' association, and its 
real object was to relieve the slave states of their free coloured 
population, whose presence alarmed and annoyed the slave-owners, 
and stimulated the slaves to recover their liberty. The unfortu- 
nate creatures committed to the society's charge, they declared, 
were transported to a barbarous and unhealthy coast, and there 
left to perish in misery. By withdrawing- the free people of 
colour from the country, the society would deprive the slaves of 
the sympathy and assistance of this portion of their race, and 
render their situation more hopeless than it was before. These 
and similar statements were reiterated everywhere throughout the 
northern or free states, and with an effect very injurious to the 
Colonisation Society, which found itself, like Frankenstein in the 
romance, pursued or confronted in every movement by a terrible 
and unrelenting- enemy, which it had itself called into existence. 

Many ministers, of various religious denominations, had been 
accustomed to recommend the society to the liberality of their 
congregations, or to allow the society's agents to occupy their 
pulpits for this purpose. But after the awakening" of the anti- 
slavery excitement, this custom was generally discontinued. In 
most of the states, there had previously been auxiliary societies, 
which sent their contributions to the central society at Washington. 
During- the 'abolition storm,' as the society's directors term it, 
nearly the whole of these affiliated associations suspended their 
operations, and some of them dropped out of existence al tog-ether. 
.Many of the early friends of the cause became estranged from 
it, and discontinued their subscriptions. The receipts of the 
society fell off; it became embarrassed, and had to compound with 
its creditors. By many persons it was supposed to be extinct; 
and the experiment which its founders had undertaken was 
generally considered to be a failure. 

But as the society had unexpectedly called into being- the enemy 
which nearly destroyed it, so in like manner it had created the 
support by which it was afterwards uplifted into an equally 
unexpected prosperity. It owed its revival from its temporary 
depression to the colony which it had founded. Every one who 
has paid attention to the general subject of colonisation, is aware of 
the astonishing vitality and elasticity which characterise a colony 
that has once been fairly established. Take a few hundred families 
out of any civilised community, set them down in a new country 
with plenty of fertile land open to them, and after leaving- them 
to themselves for a few years, the probability is that they will 
have become a flourishing- and well-organised community, with 
good laws and institutions, well-cultivated farms, comfortable 
dwellings, and every other essential sign of prosperity. The 
wants and the opportunities of colonial life call into 'activity 
powers which the emigrant was not before conscious of possessing. 
He works harder and to better effect, thinks more deeply, and 
learns more readily, than he ever did at home. The whole colony 



13 



LIIIKKIA. 

gains, of course, by the improved character and condition of even- 
individual settler. The progress of any new settlement, if placed 
in only moderately favourable circumstances, is usually so rapid as 
to surprise any observer who revisits it after an absence of 
ten years. Thus it happened in the case of Liberia. When 
the temporary decline of the Colonisation Society commenced, 
about the year 1830, it had already sent out between 2000 and 
3000 emigrants ; and even at the period of its greatest depression, 
the directors were able to add a iew to this number every year. 
The colony's territory was gradually extended, and considerable 
numbers of natives voluntarily submitted to its jurisdiction. New 
villages grew up ; chapels and schools were built ; roads were 
opened ; small vessels were constructed and launched ; the trade 
of the colony steadily increased. At length, evidences of this 
progress began to become known in America and likewise in 
England — where, also, both the society and the colony were for a 
time under a cloud. The channels by which these evidences reached 
the public were of various kinds. Occasionally a colonist, who 
had accumulated a little fortune in Liberia, went over to America 
to find his relatives, and bring them back with him to the colony. 
Then a body of coloured men in the United States, anxious to 
ascertain the truth, sent out two of their number to the colony as a 
deputation, who brought back a most favourable report. English 
and American naval officers, who had landed in the colonial ports, 
gave their unimpeachable testimony, in language evincing equal 
surprise and gratification at the signs of industry, good govern- 
ment, and civilisation which they had witnessed. Sometimes a 
worthy merchant -captain, after strolling through the cheerful 
streets of Monrovia, dining sumptuously with some colonial official, 
and driving bargains with the civic traders for his cargo, would 
return home to furnish his friends and the newspapers with a 
wonderful story about a thriving town of black citizens on the 
African coast, where he did not hear a profane word during his 
whole stay, and could not induce a human being to work for him 
on a Sunday for love or money. When these and similar reports 
had begun to revive the public interest which had formerly been 
felt for the colony, other evidence, of a different kind, fixed the 
attention of all parties, and produced a most favourable and a 
decisive effect. 

The first elective institutions of Liberia were of a simple kind, 
suitable for a small and compact settlement. The colonists chose 
a vice-agent, two councillors, a high-sheriff, a registrar, and a 
treasurer ; and with the aid of these officers, the agent, appointed 
by the Colonisation Society, managed the affairs of the little com- 
munity. But the colony had, in twelve years, increased consider- 
ably in population and extent. New settlements had been founded 
at a distance from the chief town. It became expedient to unite 
them all under one system of administration, and at the same time 
to enlarge the basis of the representative government. A new 

14 



LIBERIA. 

constitution was drafted for this purpose by the directors of the 
society. Under this constitution, the governor of the colony was 
to be appointed and paid by the society, and was to be, ex officio, 
chief-justice. A- lieutenant-governor was to be elected by the 
people. The legislative power was to reside in a council of ten 
representatives, chosen by the electors of the two counties, Mont- 
serrado and Bassa, into which the colony was then divided. The 
Colonisation Society had the power of revoking- any law passed by 
this legislature ; but for several years before the colony became 
independent, this right was not once exercised. The new con- 
stitution was established in 1839. In April of that year, Mr 
Thomas Buchanan, the first and only white governor who held 
office under this constitution, arrived in the colony. He managed 
its affairs, during- a little more than two years, with excellent 
judgment. His administration was the commencement of a new 
era in the colony's existence. The energ-ies and intelligence of 
the colonies were wonderfully quickened by the influence of free 
and orderly political discussions. In the first session of the new 
leg-islature, an act was passed, providing- for the establishment of 
a common school in every township of the colony. Provision 
was also made, at public expense, for the support and maintenance 
of ' ag-ed widows, destitute orphans, poor persons, and invalids/ 
in a public asylum, to which a workhouse and a school should be 
attached. A post-office department was established, and the 
colonial secretary was appointed postmaster-g-eneral. Liberia at 
this time contained nine towns, in which were twenty-one 
churches, ten day-schools, and many Sabbath-schools. There 
were four printing-presses in the colony, and two newspapers. 
One of these, the Liberia Herald, had been established ten years 
before by a well-educated colonist, Mr Russwurm, who was 
afterwards governor of the new settlement known as Maryland 
in Liberia. One of Governor Buchanan's first acts was to break 
up a slave-traders' factory at Bassa Cove. The factory was de- 
fended, not only by the traders, but by a large body of well-armed 
natives, whom they had induced to join them. The Liberian 
volunteers forced their way into the barracoon, drove out the 
defenders into the forest, attacked them there, and dispersed them, 
and finally compelled the native chief to sign a treaty, binding 
him never again to take part in the slave-trade. In this contest, 
one man was killed and six wounded in the Liberian force. On 
a subsequent occasion, another powerful slave-trading chief made 
a sudden and murderous attack on a native village, which was 
under the protection of the colony. Several of the harmless 
inhabitants were killed, and others were carried into captivity. 
Governor Buchanan mustered a force of 300 colonists, with a 
troop of natives to carry the baggage, and marched against the 
enemy's stronghold, situated about "forty miles inland. Though 
Mr Buchanan accompanied the expedition, the military command 
was given to a young colonist, Mr Joseph John Roberts, whose 

15 



LIBERIA. 

distinguished abilities and estimable character had already gained 
for him the confidence both of his fellow-colonists and of the 
governor. On this occasion, his dispositions were so skilfully 
made, and the onset of the volunteers was so impetuous, that the 
wall of the enemy's fortress was scaled and the town captured 
with a suddenness that astonished the victors themselves. Two 
of the assailants were killed in the action. The captives were set 
free, the town was burned, and the troops returned to the colony. 
So great was the effect of this blow in inspiring the natives with 
a respect for the military prowess of the colonists, that several 
chiefs, with their followers, came to place themselves under the 
protection of the colony; and for more than twenty years after- 
wards, no serious collision took place between the colony and any 
native tribe. 

Mr Buchanan died of the African fever in 1841, universally 
regretted. Mr Roberts was at that time lieutenant-governor. 
The official duties of the deceased governor devolved upon him 
until a successor should be appointed by the Colonisation Society . 
The society, however, wisely continued Mr Roberts in the office. 
From that time to the present, a period of twelve years, all the 
public offices of the colony have been filled by men of colour. 
The experiment, which was to test the capacity of a community 
of that class for self-government, may be said to have commenced 
from this period. The tact was known in America, and naturally 
excited much interest ; and this interest was greatly heightened 
when the ' messages ' of Governor Roberts to the colonial legisla- 
ture, and his dispatches to the society's directors, were published. 
Extracts from them were reprinted in the newspapers, and pro- 
duced a great sensation, highly advantageous to the colony, and 
to the general scheme of colonisation. Some of these documents 
have been read by many persons in this country, who are aware 
of their remarkable merits. It is no exaggeration, they will 
admit, to say, that the public writings of Governor Roberts will 
compare favourably, in point of clearness of statement and force 
of reasoning, with the best state-papers of our time. Here, then, 
was evidence which could not be overlooked or explained away, 
either by the depredators of the African race, or by the enemies 
of the colonisation scheme. Governor Roberts, it was generally 
known, was born in Virginia. His parents were both free persons 
of African descent. In the year 18*29, when he was eighteen 
years of age, his mother, with her children, emigrated to Liberia. 
His intellectual culture had been nearly all obtained in the colony, 
and his political experience had been wholly acquired there. 
He was evidently a fair specimen of the class of public men 
whom the colony might be expected to produce. The letters of 
other intelligent Liberians, published at the same time, sufficed 
to shew that Governor Roberts was not a remarkable exception, 
or very strikingly superior in ability to his fellow-colonists. The 
favourable reaction in public opinion now became very rapid ; 

16 



LIBERIA. 

nobody could doubt that the colonisation experiment had thus far 
proved successful ; the largest hopes of its most ardent advocates 
ceased to be considered visionary. The opinion began to prevail, 
that the fearful and perplexing- anomaly of negro slavery in 
republican America, would be, in some manner or other, removed 
through the success of this experiment. Many persons saw reason 
for believing that the whole coloured population of the United 
Mates would in time be transferred to the shores of Africa ; while, 
on the other hand, the far-sighted advocates of the immediate 
abolition of slavery began to perceive that Liberia was about to 
supply them with their most powerful argument. The opposition 
from this quarter gradually abated ; the travelling agents of the 
society found themselves again received with favour in all parts of 
the country; the collections rapidly increased. At length, in the 
annual report of January 184(5, the directors had the satisfaction, 
for the first time in many years, of announcing that the society 
was out of debt, and had a handsome surplus in its treasury. The 
various local societies in the several states were now revived, and 
new ones were formed. The Colonisation Society of Massachusetts 
mention, in their report for 1847, that their agent, the Rev. Dr 
Tenney, had recently advocated their cause before 139 congrega- 
tions in that state, and before nine ministerial associations — ' a 
mighty change,' they add, ' since the time, but a few years ago, 
\\ hen not six pulpits in the state were open to us, and not a single 
ecclesiastical body would listen to an argument in favour of 
opening them, or of allowing us any other privilege.' 

While this change of feeling was taking- place in America, events 
were occurring in Africa which were destined to awaken a strong 
interest in other countries for the colony, and to exert a favourable 
influence upon its fortunes. The British government had observed 
with pleasure the gradual extension of a settlement, which was 
evidently doing much to check the slave-trade in its vicinity. 
Complaints, however, began to be made by British traders on the 
coast, that their commerce with the natives was checked by the 
import duties, levied by the new legislature of the colony, for the 
support of the colonial government. The question of the legality 
of these imposts at once arose. Had the settlement been a 
recognised dependency of the United States, or had it, on the 
other hand, been an independent state, there would have been 
no doubt about the matter : in either case, its government would 
have had a perfect right to impose these taxes within the limits 
of the colony ; but it was just as clear that a. mere collection of 
private individuals could have no such right. In September 1844, 
Commodore Jones, who then commanded the British squadron on 
the coast of Africa, apprised Governor Roberts of the decision of 
the British government. The letter was couched in terms of great 
courtesy and kindness. The respectable character and benevolent 
purposes of the Colonisation Society were acknowledged, and the 
governor was assured of the sympathy and cordial satisfaction with 

17 



LIBERIA. 

which the progress of the settlement had been remarked in Great- 
Britain. But he was told, while the British government would 
fully recognise the rights of property on that coast, as they might 
appear to be acquired by purchase, it could not admit that pro- 
perty so acquired could confer sovereign rights upon a private 
association, or justify the imposition of state duties, or the exclusion 
of British commerce from its accustomed resorts. 

This decision was evidently well founded ; and soon after it was 
announced, some perplexing circumstances happened which shewed 
the necessity of settling the difficulty without delay. A British 
merchant-captain landed some goods in Bassa Cove, and refused 
to pay the harbour dues, on the g-round that these charges were 
illegal. The collector, thereupon, seized a portion of the goods 
equivalent to these duties ; and the trader left the harbour to report 
the case to Commodore Jones. By an extraordinary mischance, a 
British man-of-war brig came into the harbour on the following 
day, seized a small coasting schooner belonging to a respectable 
colonist, and sent it off to Sierra Leone, on the ground that it was 
engaged in the slave-trade. The colonists were naturally thrown 
into great consternation, believing that the seizure had been made 
by way of reprisal, and that the ground alleged for it was a mere 
pretence. Even the subsequent release of the schooner by the 
vice-admiralty court of Sierra Leone, with an official expression 
of regret for the seizure, did not wholly disabuse the minds of the 
colonists of this impression. At the next session of the Liberian 
legislature, the whole subject was brought under the consideration 
of that body by Governor Roberts. The council came to the 
conclusion, that the colony could not long continue to exist without 
possessing absolute political jurisdiction over its territory. This 
conclusion was communicated to the Colonisation Society, and its 
justice was so evident, that the society did not hesitate to adopt a 
resolution expressing its opinion, that ' the time had arrived when 
it was expedient for the people of the commonwealth of Liberia to 
take into their own hands the whole work of self-government, 
including the management of all their foreign relations.' The 
Liberian council on being apprised of this resolution, determined to 
submit the question to a general vote of the electors, who were to 
pronounce, by their ballots, whether the colony should be declared an 
independent state or not. This portion of Liberian history, it may 
be observed, offers a valuable lesson to every mother-country on 
the most effectual method of securing the affection of her colonies. 
The Colonisation Society was regarded by the Liberians as their 
home-government. The society had always treated them with 
the greatest consideration, and had left to them the uncontrolled 
management of their local affairs. So strong, consequently, was 
the attachment of the colonists to the society, that most of them 
were extremely unwilling to dissolve their connection with it. 
The leading colonists saw the necessity for the step, but the others 
clung to the home-government : and nothing but the positive 

18 



LIBERIA. 

assurance that the society itself considered the separation advisable, 
induced them to vote for it. Even under that persuasion, the 
majority in favour of independence was but small. It was, how- 
ever, leg-ally sufficient ; and a convention was consequently called, 
in July 1847, to frame a new constitution for the nascent state, 
and to proclaim its independence to the world. These duties were 
performed in a satisfactory manner. A national flag- and seal were 
at the same time adopted by the convention. The flag" consists of 
red and white stripes alternately displayed, to denote, as in the 
American ensign, the number of the original states of the Union, 
in which, of course, the coloured as well as the white population 
dwelt at the time of the separation from Great Britain. In the 
upper and inner angle of the flag- is a square blue ground, with a 
single white star in its centre. The seal of the state has for its 
device a dove on the wing-, bearing in its claws an open scroll ; 
beneath is a view of the ocean, with a ship under sail, the sun just 
emerging from the waters ; and at one side is a palm-tree, with a 
plough and spade at its foot. Above the emblems is the national 
motto : ' The love of liberty brought us here.' 

On the 24th of August 1847, the Liberian flag was for the first 
time hoisted on Cape Montserrado, with ceremonies and rejoicings 
appropriate and natural on such an occasion. A few weeks after- 
wards, it was saluted by English and American men-of-war in 
due form, as the ensign of an independent state. In September 
following, the new constitution was submitted to the vote of the 
people, and accepted by them ; and in the next month the first 
election of officers took place. Mr Roberts was chosen president 
of the republic. The first session of the new legislature was held 
in January 1848. A brief abstract of the Liberian constitution, 
which has hitherto been found to work very well, will not be 
considered out of place here. It is fashioned, as may be supposed, 
on the well-known American model. It commences with a l bill 
of rights,' comprising various miscellaneous provisions and 
maxims, some of them of an abstract character, and others of 
great practical importance. Thus, after announcing that * all men 
are born equally free and independent,' that ' all power is inherent 
in the people, all free governments are instituted by their autho- 
rity and for their benefit, and they have the right to alter and 
reform the same when their safety and happiness require it' — 
this bill declares that ' all men have a natural and inalienable 
right to worship God according to the dictates of their own con- 
sciences ; ' and ' no sect of Christians shall have exclusive privi- 
leges or preference over any other sect, but all shall be alike 
tolerated; and no religious test whatever shall be required as a 
qualification for civil office or the exercise of any civil right.' 
Slavery is not to exist within the republic, and all dealing in 
slaves, directly or indirectly, is forbidden to citizens of the state or 
to persons resident in it. No person is to be deprived of life, 
liberty, property, or privilege but by judgment of his peers, or 

19 



LIBERIA. 

the law of the land. All elections are to be by ballot, and ' every 
male citizen of twenty-one years of age, possessing* real estate, 
shall have the right of suffrage.' It should be observed, in 
reference to this provision, that every colonist, on arriving in 
Liberia from America, receives a few acres of land. The suffrage, 
at present, is therefore virtually universal. But it is obvious that, 
as population becomes dense, a large and intelligent class must be 
gradually formed in the towns, consisting of persons who are 
occupiers but not owners of real estate, and who will be disfran- 
chised by this provision. It may be presumed that an amendment 
will then be made to suit this change of circumstances. 

The light of holding public meetings, the subordination of the 
military to the civil power, the liberty of the press, the right of 
bail, except for capital offences, and the benefit of the writ of 
habeas corpus, are all guaranteed by this bill of rights. 

The frame of government is divided into three distinct depart- 
ments — legislative, executive, and judicial. The legislature con- 
sists of two branches — a senate and a house of representatives. 
The senate is composed of two members from each county, there 
being at present three counties in the republic — Montserrado, 
Bassa, and Sinoe. The members of the senate hold their seats for 
four years, one half of them going out of office every two years. 
A senator must be an inhabitant of the county which he repre- 
sents, must be twenty-five years of age, and must own real estate 
of not less value than 200 dollars, or about L.40. The senate, in 
addition to the legislative power which it possesses concurrently 
with the house of representatives, has the exclusive functions of 
trying impeachments, confirming all appointments of public officers 
made by the president, and sanctioning treaties. The members of 
the house of representatives are to be apportioned among the 
several counties in the ratio of their population ; and in addition, 
every town of 10,000 inhabitants is to have a representative. 
They are to be elected for three years. A representative must be 
an inhabitant of the county in which he is elected, must be 
twenty-three years of age, and must possess real property of not 
less value than 150 dollars — about L.30. Both senators and 
representatives are to receive a compensation for their services, to 
be fixed b} r law. A bill or resolution, after passing both houses, 
is to be signed by the president before it becomes a law. If he 
does not approve it, he returns it to the legislature with his objec- 
tions ; and should the legislature then pass it by a vote of two- 
thirds in each branch, it becomes a law. 

The president, who exercises the ' supreme executive power,' is 
elected by the people for the term of two years. He must be 
thirty-five years of age, and must possess l unencumbered real 
estate' of the value of 600 dollars, or about L.120. He receives 
for his services a compensation ' which shall neither be increased 
nor diminished during the period for which he shall have been 
elected.' He is commander-in-chief of the army and navy, and 

20 



LIBERIA. 

he makes treaties and appoints public functionaries — including' 
ambassadors, secretaries of state, judges, sheriffs, coroners, and 
justices of the peace— with the concurrence of the senate: but all 
these officers, except the judg-es, may be removed by the president 
at his pleasure. A vice-president, having- the same qualifications 
as the president, is elected for the same term, and succeeds to the 
office in case of the president's removal, resignation, or death. At 
other times, the vice-president acts a3 speaker of the senate. The 
judicial department is composed of one supreme court, and such 
subordinate courts as the legislature may from time to time 
establish. All the judg-es hold their seats during- good behaviour, 
but may be removed by the president on the address of two-thirds 
of both houses, or by impeachment. The salaries of the judg-es 
are established by law, and may be increased, but not diminished, 
during- their continuance in office. They are to receive no other 
perquisites or emoluments on account of the duties required of 
them. 

Then come some miscellaneous sections : two — rather sing-ular 
provisions to be inserted in a constitution — declare that the private 
property of a woman shall not be held responsible for her hus- 
band's debts, whether contracted before or after marriag-e; and 
that the widow of an insolvent person shall be entitled to one- 
third of the real estate during* her life, and one-third of the 
personal estate as her absolute property. 

* The g-reat object of forming- these colonies being- to provide a 
home for the dispersed and oppressed children of Africa, and to 
regenerate and enlig-hten this benighted continent, none but 
persons of colour shall be admitted to citizenship in this republic' 

It will be seen that this is a system of pure republicanism, 
thoug-h not, properly speaking-, of pure democracy, inasmuch 
as the power of the electoral majority is limited by numerous 
artificial checks. These restraints are, however, self-imposed, 
and there is no doubt that the system is one which requires 
g-reat intelligence, moderation, and self-control in the people 
who are to manage it. Thus fur, the experiment has undoubt- 
edly been successful. The g-overnment of the republic, during* 
the four years of its independent existence, has been conducted 
with much prudence, and the settlement has been more pros- 
perous than at any former period. The most important events in 
its recent history may here be briefly narrated. 

After the close of the first session of the Liberian leg-islature, 
President Roberts left the colony on an official visit to America 
and Europe, with the object of procuring- the recognition of the 
new state. He arrived in the United States in May 1848, and 
was very well received. The prejudice ag-ainst colour seems, in 
his case, to have been quite put aside for the time — a fact shewing* 
the purely accidental and ephemeral nature of this prejudice. The 
civic authorities of Boston and New York paid him attentions as 
honourable to themselves as to him. The national g-overnment 

21 



LIBERIA. 

evinced an equally favourable disposition, but did not formally 
recognise the republic. The refusal was dictated not by any 
unkindly feeling's, but by obvious motives of st;ite policy. The 
presence of a black ambassador at Washing-ton might, it was sup- 
posed, exert a dangerous influence upon the minds of the coloured 
people, and dispose them to assert their claims to freedom and to 
equal political rights with the white citizens. It is doubted, 
however, by many persons, whether this effect would be really 
produced. They are of opinion, that the sight of a coloured 
minister from Liberia, holding, as he must, a respectable position 
in American society, would rather induce the more intelligent 
members of the coloured class in that country to desire to emigrate 
to the African republic; and this is the very result which American 
statesmen are now anxious to bring about. It is, therefore, now 
supposed that the recognition of Liberia by the American govern- 
ment will not be long delayed. 

From the United States, Mr Roberts came to England, where 
his reception was perfectly satisfactory. The republic was at once 
recognised, and a very liberal commercial treaty was concluded. 
The British government presented a beautiful cutter, mounting 
four guns, to the new state; and authorised the president to call 
upon the ships of the African coast squadron for assistance 
whenever he required it, for breaking up any slave-trading 
establishments on that coast. The reception which Mr Roberts 
experienced in private society, is shewn by the following extract 
from a letter written at that time by an American gentleman in 
this country to a friend in the United States, where it was pub- 
lished. The letter also records an act of munificent generosity, 
which ought not to pass unnoticed : — ' I do not recollect whether 
I have already told you of the very interesting interview which 
Mr Roberts had with the Bishop of London, and also what took 
place at the Prussian ambassador's house, where the president 
dined with Lord Ashley, Mr Gurney, and others. The bishop 
was exceedingly interested in what the president told him, and 
took down notes of the conversation, which filled three sides of a 
large sheet of paper. He promised all the aid in missiona^ efforts 
possible. At Chevalier Bunsen's table, Mr Roberts sat beside the 
excellent and benevolent Lord Ashley, who was very minute in 
his inquiries about Liberia and the suppression of the slave-trade. 
Mr Roberts told him, the most effectual way to put down the latter 
would be to purchase the Gallinas territory, which is between the 
Sierra Leone colony and the republic of Liberia, and thus 700 
miles of coast would be for ever guaranteed against the slave-trade. 
His lordship asked how much money would buy it ; to which Mr 
Roberts replied, L.2000 would be ample to do the thing perfectly. 
Lord Ashley said the enterprise must be set about immediately ; 
and, after they rose from the table, he went to Mr Gurney, and 
proposed to him to buy and present this territory to the new 
republic. Mr Gurney receivea the proposition favourably, and 

22 



LIBERIA. 

requested Mr Roberts to call upon him in Lombard Street next 
morning, when Mr Gurney gave him an obligation for half of the 
amount, L.1000, and a kind of promise that if the British govern- 
,ment did not make the purchase for President Roberts, he himself 
would see that the purchase was made on his own responsibility, 
if he could not get some friends to join him in effecting- this im- 
portant object. I have now the pleasure to add, that when I called 
upon Mr Gurney a few days ago, he informed me that such 
arrangements have been made as will secure the acquisition of the 
Gallinas to the republic of Liberia.' This desirable object, it may 
here be stated, has since been accomplished. The slave-factories 
at Gallinas, which had once before been broken up by Captain 
Denman, R.N., were completely destroyed, in September 1849, 
by Commander Dunlop, of Her Majesty's ship Alert, who liberated 
about 1200 slaves, and conveyed away all the European traders to 
Sierra Leone. The native chiefs shortly afterwards transferred 
the sovereignty of their country to the Liberian government, and 
the slave-trade in that quarter was thus effectually extinguished. 

From London, Mr Roberts proceeded to Paris, where he was 
received with similar kindness by General Cavaignac and other 
members of the government. The independence of Liberia was 
acknowledged, and the commanders of French ships of war on the 
African coast were instructed to assist the president in his efforts 
for putting down the slave-trade, and maintaining* peace upon the 
coast. Mr Roberts afterwards visited Belgium, and attended the 
Peace Congress, which was then assembled at Brussels. Being 
called upon to address the cong-ress, Mr Roberts made a speech 
which was much admired for its good sense, appropriateness, and 
prepossessing manner of delivery. On his return to England, 
having accomplished the duties of his mission in a way highly 
advantageous to his new country, he was offered a passage 
to Liberia in Her Majesty's ship Amazon, and accordingly, in 
December 1848, sailed in that vessel for the colony. 

The Liberian republic has since been recognised by the govern- 
ments of Prussia and Brazil. A Brazilian charge d'affaires, the 
Chevalier Niteroi, arrived in Liberia in 1852. An American 
paper, in noticing his appointment, observes : ' The chevalier is a 
captain in the Brazilian navy, and has served on the coast of Africa. 
There his sympathies became enlisted in the cause of African colo- 
nisation, and he has returned to Africa as the representative of his 
nation, with authority to recognise the independence of Liberia, 
and form treaties of alliance and commerce. He is also charged 
with the duty of establishing a colony of free blacks on the coast, 
under the auspices of that country.' This fact is worthy of notice, 
as an evidence of the sincerity of the Brazilian government in its 
endeavours to suppress the slave-trade. 

Mr Roberts has been twice re-elected to the presidency for terms 
of two years. A brief account of the principal events which dis- 
tinguished one year of his last term of office will give some idea of 

23 



LIBERIA. 

the multifarious duties which a Liberian president has to perform. 
In December 1851, Mr Roberts delivered his annual 'message' to 
the Liberian legislature. He reviewed in this document, at con- 
siderable length, the progress of the commonwealth during the 
previous year, and pronounced it to have been in most respect* 
highly satisfactory. The only serious drawback arose out of the 
conduct of a few turbulent native chiefs, who had recently com- 
mitted acts of unprovoked hostility. They had treacherously 
attacked a small colonial settlement at Bassa Cove, and murdered 
nine of the inhabitants. Except in that quarter, the relations 
between the republic and the native tribes were on a most friendly 
footing. ' And generally/ adds the president, ' from a conviction 
that we consider them a part of ourselves, and cherish with 
sincerity their rights and interests, the attachment of the natives 
is daily gaining strength. Constant applications are being made 
to the government to supply them with school-teachers, and with 
other qualified persons to reside among them, to instruct them in 
the civilised modes of agriculture and the mechanic arts ; and it is 
a matter of deep regret that the government, for want of pecuniary 
means, has not been able to meet their wishes, but to an exceed- 
ingly limited extent.' The president remarks, that ' the cause of 
colonisation seems to be gaining favour in the United States/ but 
he regrets that the government of that country has not yet seen fit 
to acknowledge the independence of Liberia. He notices with 
pleasure several proofs recently afforded of the kind feelings 
entertained by the British government towards the republic. He 
mentions a proposal made by a benevolent association in America 
to establish a college in Liberia, if the legislature would incorporate 
it, and furnish it with certain endowments. He recommends a 
revision of the navigation and revenue laws, the taking of a census, 
and some regulations for the new postal arrangements with Great 
Britain and America. The public income for the past vear is 
stated at 32,000 dollars (L.6400), and the expenditure at '34,000 
dollars (L.6800), the small deficiency being, however, more than 
covered by the surplus previously in the treasury. 

The session of the legislature could not have lasted many weeks, 
as in the early part of January we find Mr Roberts acting in Ins 
capacity of commander-in-chief of the army, in an expedition 
against the hostile chiefs, Grando and Boyer, the perpetrators or 
instigators of the massacre at Bassa Cove. These chiefs had 
assembled a formidable force, numbering ' not less than 5000 
effective men.' The Liberian army consisted of 550 colonial 
volunteers, and about the same number of native troops. The 
history of the brief campaign cannot be better given than in the 
president's own words, as we find them in a published letter : ' On 
the 6th instant [January 1852], we marched upon Grando's barri- 
caded town, where he had made every warlike preparation to 
receive us ; and which place he and his deluded followers believed 
impregnable. Within about two miles of the town, at a most 

24 



LIBERIA. 



difficult swamp we had to cross, he had constructed a substan- 
tial breast-work, which was defended by a large force of about 
three times our number. There Gran'do expected certainly to 
defeat us ; but our men behaved well, and, after an action of one 
hour and thirty-live minutes, drove them out. They retreated to 
another strong position on the line of our march, and, as the head 
of our column cleared the heavy forest intervening-, they opened 
upon us a heavy tire. They were, however, soon driven back, 
and panic-stricken fled to the town, two miles distant, which they 
fired immediately and dispersed, with instructions, as I afterwards 
learned, to join Boyer, of Trade-town. In these two attacks we 
had sixteen wounded, five badly, none mortally. Being- joined, 
on the morning- of the loth instant, by the Second Regiment, which 
had been operating separately in the upper part of the Basda 
country, we commenced our march upon Boyer's principal town. 
No sooner had our advanced guard cleared the woods, and sighted 
the barricade, than the enemy opened upon us a tremendous tire of 
musketry and big guns. The lire was promptly returned, and for 
an hour and three-quarters the conflict was desperate. We had to 
contend against fearful odds; hut the hand of divine Providence 
was on our side, and we gloriously triumphed. The loss of the 
enemy was very considerable ; Boyer had two brothers killed, and 
was himself badly wounded. We had four killed, and twenty- 
i wounded— two since dead; the others will all doubtless 
recover. I exceedingly regretted the necessity of this campaign, 
but it could not be avoided. The effect, however, will be most 
salutary. It will convince the aboriginal inhabitants of every part 
of the republic of the ability of the government to maintain the 
majesty of the laws, and punish crime wherever committed within 
its jurisdiction.' 

Having- thus successfully performed the military part of his 
duties, the hard-worked president had next to turn his attention to 
his diplomatic functions. In connection with these hostilities, 
some difficulties had arisen with two or three English traders, who 
claimed certain portions of land at Bassa Cove, and who objected 
to pay import duties on the goods which they sold to the natives. 
This was a claim which, if sustained, would have been fatal to 
the authority, and ruinous to the revenue of the republic. The 
Liberians were naturally disquieted, being- uncertain of the view 
which the British government might take of these disputed points. 
Under these circumstances, they adopted the judicious resolution 
of laying the whole case fully before that government. President 
Hoberts sailed in May 1852 for England, where, on his arrival, 
he found the same friendly disposition existing- as had been mani- 
fested on his former visit. All the points about which questions 
had been raised, were settled to his satisfaction, with much less 
delay than is usually exacted in diplomatic discussions. As on the 
former occasion, the government offered the president a passage to 
Liberia in a vessel of the royal navy. Such an offer was not a 

25 



LIBERIA. 

mere empty honour, as it might have been in the case of a 
European ruler. There is reason to fear that white traders of all 
nations are too much disposed to look upon the Liberian settlers 
as an inferior race, and to treat them and their laws with a con- 
tempt and disregard which they would not venture to evince 
towards white colonists. Any conspicuous public act, therefore, 
by which the greatest maritime power shewed a determination to 
regard and treat the chief magistrate of Liberia as the representa- 
tive of an independent and respectable state, must have a very 
salutary effect. President Roberts left England in Her Majesty's 
steamer Dee, in the early part of November 1852. Thus, in less 
than twelve months, he had held a session of the Liberian legis- 
lature, had conducted a difficult and laborious military expedition, 
and had completed an important diplomatic mission to a country 
5000 miles distant from Liberia. And what will to some seem 
the circumstance most surprising of all is the fact, that these 
various functions of president, commander-in-chief, and ambas- 
sador-extraordinary, have been thus satisfactorily performed by an 
officer receiving the very modest salary of L.300 a year. 

Having thus brought the history of Liberia down to the latest 
period, our account of this infant state may be suitably concluded 
by a brief description of its present condition. 

In the statistics given at the commencement of this paper, 
the numbers include not only the area and population of the 
republic of Liberia, properly so called, but also those of the neigh- 
bouring settlement of Maryland in Liberia, concerning which 
nothing has yet been said. This settlement was commenced in 
the year 1834 by the Maryland State Colonisation Society, aided 
by an annual grant of 10,000 dollars (L.2000) from the treasury 
of the state. It was thought that the people of the state would 
take more interest in the enterprise if it were kept for a time 
distinct from that of the national society ; but as an ultimate union 
of the two settlements was expected, the name of ' Maryland in 
Liberia' was given to the new colony. The experience derived 
in the formation of the older settlement enabled- the promoters of 
the new undertaking to avoid the mistakes and mischances which 
had proved injurious to the other at the outset. An eligible site 
was found at Cape Palmas, a small promontory or peninsula, 
situated about 300 miles south-east of Monrovia, at the point where 
the African coast changes its general direction from south-east to 
east. On this promontory, which is about half a mile long by a 
quarter of a mile wide, is situated the town of Harper, the capital 
of the settlement, containing about 800 inhabitants. On the main- 
land, at a distance of three or four miles, is a smaller town, with 
a fort and numerous farms. Care was taken, from the commence- 
ment, to keep on friendly terms with the natives : no serious 
differences have ever occurred ; and ten of the native chiefs, 
occupying all the territory for about fifty miles on each side of 
the settlement, have placed themselves and their people, estimated 

26 



LIBERIA. 



at about 100,000 souls, under the protection of the colony. From 
the beginning", the colonists have had almost the whole manage- 
ment of their public aflairs. A bill of rights was sent out with 
the first ship, and a republican government was shortly afterwards 
instituted. The agent or governor is indeed appointed for the 
present by the society in America, but the councillors and other 
officers are elected by the people. Every man in the colony, 
twenty years old, has the right of voting, provided he holds land 
in his own right, or pays a tax of one dollar for the support of 
education. No man can sit on a jury who does not know how to 
»ead and write. The use of ardent spirits as a beverage is prohi- 
I by law. On this point, the board of directors in America 
make the following observations in one of their early reports: — 
' At the end of seven years, the board can speak confidently of the 
temperance principle, which they made a fundamental law of the 
ay when it was established; and they firmly believe that, 
under Providence, the remarkable success 'that has attended the 
settlement— a success to which history affords no parallel— the 
harmony that has existed with the natives, and the general com- 
parative prosperity, are to be attributed to the strict observance of 
the colonial laws in this particular. By none can the importance 
of the temperance principle be more highly appreciated than it is 
by the emigrants themselves.' 

•ng the whole sea-board of Liberia the land is generally low, 
and either marshy or sandy, though not deficient in fertility. "There 
are, however, immediately on the coast, some conspicuous emi- 
nences, such as Cape Montserrado, rising 250 feet above the sea; 
and Cape Mount, about 1000 feet in height. A few miles from 
the sea, the land becomes more elevated, and gradually rises into 
irregular hills and mountain summits. Of the distant interior, 
nothing is yet known except from the reports of the natives. On 
the latest maps, this part of Africa, lying north and east of Liberia,, 
and covering an extent of about 200^000 square miles— equal to the 
whole area of France— is a blank. A line of mountains is, indeed, 
traced along its northern border, with the designation of the 
Mountains of Kong. Of the existence of this range, the number 
and direction of the rivers which intersect the country leave no 
doubt ; but beyond this circumstance, nothing is positively known. 
There is every reason to suppose, from the partial explorations 
that have been made, and from the accounts of the natives, that 
this region is a fine, elevated, fertile, well-wooded and well- 
red country, occupied by a thin population, composed of small 
tribes, similar in character and in habits to those who dwell near 
the coast. As the Liberians have already begun to extend their 
settlements towards the interior, we may anticipate that at no 
very distant period the whole of this extensive country will be 
included within the limits of the republic. It deserves to be 
noticed, that on the north side of the Kong Mountains, about 300 
miles from Monrovia, the famous river, variously known as 

27 



LIBERIA. 

the Joliba, Quorra, or Niger, takes its rise. A time will doubtless 
come when this great navigable river, 2500 miles long*, will 
become the chief commercial highway of civilised Africa. 

There are no large rivers within the present limits of Liberia. 
There are, however, many hue streams, some of which are half a 
mile wide at a distance of fifty miles from the sea ; but none of 
these are navigable for boats more than twenty miles from their 
mouths, their currents being- obstructed by rapids. The St Paul's, 
the St John's, and the Junk, are the largest, /f he former, which 
falls into the sea a few miles north of Monrovia, is a beautiful 
stream, flowing" through a picturesque and fertile country, in which 
manv native hamlets and nourishing* colonial villages are inter- 
mingled. The St Paul's, which is the chief river ol Bassa County, 
is also a fine stream, studded with numerous islets, and bordered 
by a very productive country. 

The climate of Liberia is warm, but equable, tempered by frequent 
rains and daily sea-breezes. The year is divided into but two por- 
tions, known as the rainy season and the dry season. The former 
commences about the middle of May, and the latter about the 
middle of November. It should be understood, however, that this 
absolute distinction is in some degree to be qualified, as there are 
rainy days, and clear, pleasant days, in every month of the year. 
The dry season is the warmest, and January is the hottest month 
of the year ; the average height of the thermometer in that month 
is 80 degrees. June, on the other hand, is the wettest and 
the coldest month, the thermometer usually standing at about 
76 degrees. Coloured emigrants from the United States do 
not find the heat in Liberia oppressive at any season ; and Dr 
Lugenbeel, a white man, states, that at the coldest season he 
generally found it necessary to wear woollen outer as well as under 
garments, and to sleep beneath thick covering at night. 

It is one of the most mysterious and unaccountable facts in phy- 
siology, that a climate which is fatal to one race of men, should be 
not only innocuous, but congenial to another. If white men could 
have lived in Africa between the tropics, the whole continent would 
doubtless have long since been subjected, like America, to the domi- 
nation of rulers of European orig'in. Many attempts have been made 
by different nations — Portuguese, Dutch, English, French, Danes, 
and Swedes— to establish settlements of white colonists on various 
intertropical portions of the African coast, and all have failed from 
the same cause — the deadly nature of the climate. Yet, at Sierra 
Leone and in Liberia, coloured men, whose ancestors for 200 years 
had resided within the temperate zone, find the climate salubrious, 
and live as long as others of their race in America. All emigrants, 
however, have to pass, shortly after their arrival, through what is 
known to foreigners as the African coast fever, but in Liberia 
more commonly as the acclimating fever. It is a bilious remittent 
fever, which usually passes into the intermittent form. The first 
settlers suffered severely from this disease ; but now that its 

28 



LIBERIA. 

treatment is better understood, and that proper accommodations 
and attendance are provided, it lias ceased to be so much dreaded 
as formerly. Two or three deaths, indeed, usually happen out of 
every hundred emigrants who arrive ; but it is observed that the 
fatal c;ises arc almost always those of persons who were previously 
in bad health, or who neglected the simple precautions which are 

•ribed to new-comers. In many cases, on the other hand, the 
emigrants find their health sensibly improved by the change of 
country. 

The vegetable productions of Liberia, natural and cultivated, are 
very numerous. In feet, it is said and there is no reason for 
doubting the statement — that every species of tropical produce is 
found to thrive in that country. Rice is abundant, and is culti- 
vated on the high lands as well as on the low grounds near the 
coast. Indian corn, sweet-potatoes, cassada or cassava root, beans, 

. u ater-melons, pine-apples, oranges, lemons, guavas, mangoes, 
plantains, banana.-, papaws, tamarinds, pomegranates, and a great 
variety of other edibles, atlbrd ample supplies for the tables of the 
inhabitants and for the demands of shipping". Among articles 
which already yield valuable exports, or are likely hereafter to 
do so, are mentioned coffee, cotton, sugar, ginger, pepper, indigo, 
ground-nuts, and arrow-root. Nearly all these productions are 
indigenous in the country. The wild coffee-tree may frequently 

let with in the woods ; it is the same species as that ordinarily 
reared in other parts of the world, but may be much improved by 
cultivation. Several of the colonists have applied themselves to 
this branch of agriculture, which may be carried on with smaller 
means than are required for the cultivation of sugar or cotton, 
though both of these have been tried by a few individuals, and 
with good success. Specimens of Liberian coffee, which have 
been sent to the United States, have been pronounced by good 
judges equal to the best received from the East or West Indies. 
It must be remembered, however, that the population of Liberia 
has hitherto been too small to warrant the expectation of any large 
amount of agricultural exports from the settlement. Some 8000 
or 10,000 emigrants, of both sexes and all ages, have had to per- 
form the work of founding a dozen settlements along 500 miles of 
coast— clearing away the forest, building habitations, raising food 
for themselves and for a continual accession of new settlers, pre- 
serving peace among the native tribes, framing and executing 
laws, and labouring as teachers, physicians, traders, and mechanics 
of every description. The duty of the first generation of settlers 
has been to prepare the country for the residence of the thousands 
of emigrants who are expected to follow them, and most of whom, 
as they arrive, will naturally direct their attention to the agricul- 
tural pursuits which they followed in America. There can be but 
little doubt that cotton, sugar, coffee, and other tropical products, 
will in a few years begin to be largely exported from Liberia. At 
present, the chief articles of export are palm-oil and the camwood, 

29 



LIBERIA. 

from which a valuable dye is extracted. The value of the annual 
exports was estimated in 1839 at 700,000 dollars, or L.140,000; 
and that of the imports at 400,000 dollars, or L. 80,000. Since 
that time the amount of both exports and imports has considerably 
increased. The recent establishment (in 1852) of a monthly line 
of steam-packets, from Plymouth to the settlements on the western 
coast of Africa, including Liberia, will doubtless be of considerable 
advantage to the commerce of the young- republic. The American 
Congress has lately had under its consideration a proposal for a 
monthly line of large steamers, to run between the United States 
and Liberia, for the conveyance of emigrants and merchandise. 
The project has been received with considerable favour, and has 
been recommended by the legislatures of several states. It will 
probably be soon adopted, and must greatly promote the progress 
of the little republic. 

Nearly all the common domesticated animals of this country are 
now reared in Liberia. Cows are numerous, but do not give 
much milk, probably from not being properly attended to. Oxen 
are coming into use for ploughing and as beasts of burden. The 
horses which have hitherto been brought into the settlement have 
not thriven well, and many of them have perished of a disease 
similar to the fever which attacks newly arrived emigrants. They 
do better, however, in the inland villages. A colonist, in a 
recently published letter, speaks of having four horses in his 
stables. Sheep and goats are easily raised — the former, however, 
being covered with short hair instead of wool. Swine do not 
thrive so well, but are raised in sufficient abundance to supply 
the wants of the people. Fowls of every description are very 
numerous and cheap. 

Little is yet known of the geology or mineralogy of Liberia. 
As in other parts of Guinea, gold is occasionally found along the 
banks of the streams. A colonist once accidentally discovered a 
quantity valued at fifty dollars, and the natives occasionally bring 
it in for sale. As they have been acquainted with its "value for 
centuries, it is fortunately not probable that any large surface 
deposits of this metal remain to be discovered. Some of the more 
useful minerals, particularly copper, iron, and coal, are found in 
other parts of Africa, and it may reasonably be expected that 
future researches will bring to light similar stores of natural 
riches in Liberia. At present, were any mines to be discovered, 
the want of means to work them would render the discovery of 
little advantage. 

For political and judicial purposes, the republic is divided into 
counties, which are further subdivided into townships. The counties 
are three in number — Montserrado, Bassa, and Sinoe — to which 
Maryland in Liberia will probably soon be added as a fourth. 
The townships are commonly about eight miles in extent. Each 
town is a corporation, its affairs being managed by officers chosen 
by the inhabitants. Courts of monthly-sessions, and of quarter- 

30 



LIBERIA. 

are held in each county. The civil business of the county 
is administered by three commissioners. There were, in 1850, 
eleven towns in Liberia, besides a few smaller settlements. Monrovia, 
the capital, has already been noticed. Other towns in Montserrado 
County are Caldwell, Virginia, Millsburg, and New Georgia, on or 
near the St Paul's River ; and Marshall, on the Junk River. In 
Bassa County are the flourishing' towns of Bassa Cove, Edina, 
and Bexley, on the St John's River and its branches. The last- 
mentioned was named in honour of the late Lord Bexley, who 
took a warm interest in the colony, and presented to the American 
Colonisation Society, of which he was one of the vice-presidents, 
the sum of L.500 for the purchase of the land on which the town 
is situated. Edina, in like manner, was so named in token of 
gratitude for contributions received from Edinburgh at an early 
period of the colony's existence. In Sinoe County is the pretty 
town of Greenville, at the mouth of the Sinoe River ; and not far 
from it is the village of Readsville, formed by slaves manumitted 
by Mrs Read, a benevolent lady of Mississippi. 

A few statistical facts remain to be added to the foregoing" 
ment. In 1843, when the last census was taken, there were 
twenty-three churches in Liberia, with an agg*regate of 1474 
communicants, of whom 1104 were emigrants from America and 
their children, and 469 were native Africans, who had been con- 
verted from heathenism. In 1849, the number of churches had 
increased to about thirty, with, it may be presumed, a propor- 
tionate increase of members. The principal religious denomina- 
tions in the republic of Liberia are the Methodists, Baptists, and 
Presbyterians ; the Protestant Episcopalians have churches and a 
mission in the colony of Maryland in Liberia, under the superin- 
tendence of a bishop. In 1843, there were sixteen schools, with 
562 scholars. In 1849, the number of schools had been doubled, 
and the number of scholars exceeded 2000. There were, in 1851, 
three ' high schools' in Monrovia ; and in 1852 an act was passed 
incorporating- a board of trustees for a college, which is to be 
established in that town with the aid of funds from America. 

In view of the facts embodied in the foregoing- narrative and 
description, it is not surprising- that the interest g-enerally felt in 
the progress of Liberia should have greatly increased throughout 
the United States. The free coloured people who, as a body, have 
hitherto been unwilling- to leave America, are now preparing to 
emigrate in great numbers. Many slaveholders have emancipated 
their slaves for the purpose of allowing them to emigrate ; and 
many more have given notice of their intention of doing the same. 
The Irish and German emigrants, who are arriving in the United 
States in such vast numbers, are gradually displacing the free 
coloured labourers, and diminishing the value of slave labour. 
The annual emigration to Liberia, under the pressure of these 
various influences, is already numbered by thousands. It is 
becoming a general opinion in the United States, that in this 

31 



LIBERIA. 

manner the whole negro population of that country will finally be 
transferred to the shores of Africa. The probability is, however, 
that long* before this result can take place, all the slaves in America 
will be emancipated. The gTeat obstacle in the way of their libera- 
tion has hitherto been the not unreasonable apprehension that they 
would be found incapable of self-government, and that the sudden 
introduction of three millions of semi-barbarous freedmen into the 
civil polity of the country would be fatal to the stability of its 
institutions. The successful experiment of Liberia must in a short 
time remove this apprehension. It is impossible to believe that an 
intelligent, benevolent, and high-spirited people like the Americans, 
will continue to hold their fellow-men in slavery after it has been 
clearly shewn that the emancipa#on of all the slaves in the Union 
mig-ht, with proper precautions, be effected without danger to the 
country. 

It is deserving* of notice, in this connection, that a decided 
change of public feeling- is known to have recently taken place in 
Brazil on the subject of the slave-trade, which has almost entirely 
ceased. Manumissions have long- been common in that country, 
and a larg-e free coloured class already exists in it. The recent 
appointment of a minister to Liberia, and the project of founding- 
a Brazilian colony of free blacks on the African coast, would seem 
to indicate the existence of some amount of anti-slavery feeling- in 
that empire. When we consider the rapid diffusion of opinions in 
this ag-e, and the marvellous progress of social improvement, it- 
does not seem too much to expect that the present g-eneration may 
be fortunate enough to witness the complete extinction of slavery 
in all nations professing- the Christian religion. Should Liberia 
continue to prosper, this consummation may be regarded as certain. 
The existence of a powerful nation of civilised and Christian 
negroes in Africa, must speedily render the maintenance of negTO 
slavery in America impossible. In the prospect of such a result, 
and of the vast changes in Africa which must accompany it, there 
seems ample warrant for the assertion, that the founding- of the 
colony of Liberia is likely to be ranked hereafter among- the 
greatest historical events of our age. 




CHRISTIAN SLAVERY U BARBARY. 



E find in the records of the remotest antiquity, 
slavery mentioned as an established system as 
quite a common usage. Abraham had '318 
servants born in his own house ; ' and thousands 
of children have wept when they heard how 
Joseph was sold by his unnatural brethren. 
That it is an 'institution' adapted to a rude state 
• of society only, is satisfactorily proved by its com- 
plete extinction in almost all the more hig'hly 
civilised and refined communities of the earth ; and 
also by its origin being- clearly traceable to the 
lowest conditions of savage life. Women, being the 
weaker, were undoubtedly the first slaves. The uncivilised 
man of the present day follows the chase or sallies forth upon the 
war-path, all labour and drudgery falling to the lot of his female 
partner. The mere savage hunter of antiquity compelled, by 
No. 76. l 




CHRISTIAN SLAVERY IN BARBARY. 

scarcity of game and other circumstances, to tame and rear cattle 
for their flesh and skins, required more assistance than his wife 
could afford, and, consequently, the life of the enemy, vanquished in 
war, Avas spared on condition of being" the conqueror's slave. The 
wife then became an overlooker, and woman was raised the first 
step in the social scale. Agriculture, requiring more labour still, 
was next discovered and practised ; slaves became articles of value 
and merchandise ; and the victorious warrior, instead of slaying 
his prisoners, sacrificing them to hideous heathen deities, or eating 
them, as he had formerly done, found it more advantageous to 
adopt the less cruel alternative of selling them. Thus we see that 
the horrible system of slavery, the offspring of brute force and 
barbarism, was, nevertheless, a forward step in the world's march 
to civilisation. So, as toil and suffering is the ordeal which 
mankind individually and nationally must pass through before 
their highest state of progress can be achieved, we may confi- 
dently cheer ourselves with the hope, that the last remnant of 
slavery still existing in Christian lands, and now writhing in its 
death-pangs, will be the means of raising* a degraded race to their 
proper position among* the people of the earth. 

The ancient Greeks, puffed with the pride of their superfi- 
cial refinement, deemed all the rest of the world barbarians, and 
only fit to be their slaves. The haughty republican Roman, selfish 
and intolerant, demanding unlimited ana aggressive privileges 
for himself as a citizen, was a brutal master to his bondsman. 
Under the Empire, the number of slaves increased so much 
by wealth and conquest, that the poorer class of freemen were 
glad to secure a subsistence by working on the estates of the 
great landowners, to which they and their families became bound 
under the name of adscripti; and thus arose that mitigated 
system of slavery known as serfdom, which prevailed during the 
middle ages, and which, in some of the northern parts of Europe, 
is not yet abolished. War and conquest, however, were always 
the great sources of slavery. England, overrun by Romans, 
Saxons, Norwegians, and Normans, was long a country of slaves 
and slave-dealers. To the circumstance of English captives being 
exposed for sale in the market of Rome, we are indented for the 
first gleam of the light of Gospel truth. The Anglo-Saxons held 
a great slave-mart at Bristol, where they sold large numbers of 
slaves to the Irish traders. Wolston, Bishop of Worcester, who 
died in 1095, went year after year to Bristol and preached against 
the odious traffic ; and his zeal was crowned with success, for 
many of the leading merchants discontinued it. In the canons 
of a council held at London in 1102, it is written: — 'Let no one 
from henceforth presume to carry on that wicked traffic, by which 
men in England have hitherto been sold like brute beasts.' Still, 
however, to a very late period, prisoners taken in war were 
considered to be the property of their captors : the rich were held 
to ransom, and the poor condemned to slavery. 



CHRISTIAN SLAVERY IN BARBARY. 

Another prolific source of slavery was religious difference — it 
tg long- understood that any person who had the power, had also 
the right to enslave any other person professing a different faith. 
The Laws of Oleron, the maritime code of the middle ages, 
described infidels who did not receive the Christian faith, as ' dogs 
to be attacked, des] toiled, and enslaved by all true believers.' The 
Venetians long carried on a prosperous trade in Sclavonian infidel 
slaves from the shores of the Adriatic, and they honestly, as the 
word was then understood, bought and paid for them. But it 
WM reserved for chivalry — Christian chivalry par excellence— to 
commence that hideous system of mingled piracy and slavery, 
which so long stained with blood and tears the blue waters 
of the Mediterranean. 

The ecclesiastical order of Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem — 
originally instituted for the purpose of sheltering and relieving 
sick pilgrims to the Holy Temple — assumed in course of time a 
military' character and organisation, becoming a rich and powerful 
body of monastic warriors. When the Christian powers were 
driven from Palestine, the Knights Hospitallers took possession of 
Rhodes, and a few other smaller islands in the group so well 
known in ancient history as the Sporades. Shut up in these islands, 
yet bound by their vows to wage perpetual war against all infidels, 
the knights became a considerable naval power, and pursued a con- 
tinual system of piracy upon their Mohammedan neighbours. All 
their prisoners were unconditionally doomed to life-long slavery. 
Manacled to the oars, they rowed the galleys of their knightly 
captors, who impiously used to boast, that they cared not how the 
winds of heaven blew, as they earned their own winds in the 
sinews of their slaves. Four times did the plundered Ottomans 
unsuccessfully endeavour to expel the priestly pirates from their 
stronghold. At last Solyman the Magnificent beleaguered Rhodes 
with an immense fleet and army, and summoned the knights to 
surrender in the following words : — ' The constant robberies with 
which you molest our faithful subjects, oblige us to require you to 
deliver up to us the island and fortress of Rhodes.' The summons 
was treated with scorn ; a series of sanguinary battles ensued ; 
and ultimately, after performing prodigies of valour, the order was 
almost annihilated, and their feeble remnant expelled from Rhodes. 
After some years' wandering in various parts of Europe, they 
received the island of Malta from Charles V. Recruiting their 
numbers, they established themselves on that almost impregnable 
rock, and pursued their former system of piracy with greater 
vigour than ever. Al Makbari, an Arabic writer, speaks of Malta 
in language similar to that which, no doubt, our ancestors have 
used respecting Algiers. He terms it ' that accursed island, from 
the neighbourhood of which whoever escapes may well say that 
he has deserved favour ; that dreaded spot which throws its deadly 
shade on the pleasant waters ; that den of iniquity ; that place of am- 
bush, which is like a net to ensnare all Moslems who sail the sea.' 



CHRISTIAN SLAVERY IN BARBARY. 

Barbary is the general and somewhat vague denomination 
adopted by Europeans to designate that part of the northern coast 
of Africa which, bounded on the south by the desert of Sahara, is 
comprised between the frontiers of Egypt on the Mediterranean, 
and Cape Nun, the western spur of the lofty Atlas range, on the 
Atlantic. Imperfectly known even at the present day, in ancient 
leg-end it was peculiarly the land of mystery and fable. It was 
there the Grecian poets, giving their airy nothings a local habitation 
and a name, placed the site of the delightful gardens of the Hespe- 
rides, whose trees bore apples of the purest gold; there dwelt the 
terrible Gorgon, whose snaky tresses turned all living things into 
stone ; there the invincible Hercules wrestled and overthrew the 
mighty Antaeus ; there the weary Atlas supported the ponderous 
arch of heaven on his stalwart shoulders. Almost as mythical 
and mysterious is the little we know of the Phoenicians, the greatest 
maritime people of antiquity, who planted their most powerful 
colony, the proud city of Carthage, on these fertile shores of 
Northern Africa. Of the Carthaginians, we can glean a little from 
the Greek and Roman historians. We know that in turn becoming* 
the rulers of the seas, they explored and founded colonies and 
trading-depots in what were at that time the most distant regions ; 
extending their commercial relations from the tropical banks of 
the Niger to the frost-bound beach of the Baltic. A powerful 
people ere Rome was built, they long enjoyed their supremacy ; 
at last, the thirst of territorial conquest brought the two great 
nations into rivalry, and the rich temples of Carthage fell a prey 
to the legions of Scipio. For a short period after the destruction 
of Carthage, the energetic subtlety of Jugurtha prevented the 
conquerors from extending their dominion ; but in a few years, 
the whole coast, as far as the waves of the Atlantic, became a 
Roman province. It remained so till about the year 428 of the 
Christian era, in the reign of the Emperor Honorius, when 
Genseric, king of the Vandals, crossed over to Africa, conquered 
the Roman territory, and founded a dynasty which reigned for 
about 100 years. The Greek emperor Justinian then sent Beli- 
sarius to reconquer the country ; he defeated the Vandals, made 
their king prisoner, and added Northern Africa to the Greek 
Empire. 

History presents us with a series of conquering races, following 
each other as the waves upon the sea-beach, each washing away 
the impression made upon the sand by its forerunner, and each 
leaving a fresh impression to be washed out by its successor. The 
irruption of the Saracens followed hard upon the conquering 
footsteps of Belisarius. Swarm after swarm of the Arabs came 
up out of Egypt, till Northern Africa was under the rule of the 
caliphs, excepting a small part of the sea-coast held by the Spanish 
Goths. They at last were driven out by Musa, about the year 
710 ; and then Tarik, Musa's lieutenant, crossing the narrow straits, 
carried the war into Europe, defeated Roderick, the last Gothic 

4 



CHRISTIAN SLAVERY IN BARBARY. 

king, and laid the foundation of Arab dominion in Spain. The 
ruthless spirit of religious fanaticism which inspired the fol- 
lowers of Mohammed, destroyed everything* it could not change. 
Romans, Vandals, Greeks, Goths, their laws, literature, and reli- 
gions, all have disappeared in Northern Africa; the recollection of 
most powerful of them is only preserved in the word Romi 
— a term of reproach to the Christians of all nations. Of their 
more material works, the learned antiquary still finds some traces 
of Roman edifices, and the remains of a sewer are supposed to indi- 
the site of Carthage. The warlike enthusiasm of the Saracens 
better adapted for making conquests than for preserving them. 
The great distance from the seat of empire, the revolutions caused 
by rival houses contending for the caliphate, the ambitious projects 
of the viceroys inclining them to league with native chiefs, led to 
a dissolution of the Arabian power in Northern Africa. Conse- 
quently, when the dawn of modern history begins to throw a 
clearer light upon the scene, we find the territory divided into a 
number of petty sovereignties. 

The Saracens in Africa intermixing with the barbarous native 
tribes, never reached the high position in the arts of peace and 
civilisation attained by their brethren, the conquerors of Spain. 
The devastating instinct of Islamism seems to have yielded to a 
more benign influence, as soon as it entered Europe. When Spain 
was thoroughly subdued, the natives were permitted, with but few 
i < -frictions, the full enjoyment of their own laws and religion; and 
the Arabs, enjoying almost peaceable possession for nearly three 
centuries after the conquest, devoted their fiery energies to the 
acquisition of knowledge. Enriched by a fertile soil and pros- 
perous commerce, they blended the acquirements and refinements 
of intellectual culture with Arabian luxury and magnificence ; the 
palaces of their princes were radiant with splendour, their colleges 
famous for learning, their libraries overflowing with books, their 
agricultural and manufacturing processes conducted with scientific 
accuracy, when all the rest of Europe was buried in midnight 
barbarism. To those halcyon days of comparative peace suc- 
ceeded four centuries of bitter conflict between the invaders and 
the invaded, exhibiting one of the grandest romances of military 
history on record. It was long doubtful on which side the 
honours of victory would descend. At last, the ardour and 
audacity of the Mussulman succumbed to the patriotic courage of 
the Christian, and the reluctant Moor was compelled to abandon 
the lovely region he had rendered classical by the exercise of his 
peculiar taste and genius. 

Immediately after the fall of Granada, in 1492, about 100,000 
Spanish Moors passed over into Africa with their unfortunate king 
Boabdil. Some ruined and deserted cities on the sea-coast, the 
remains of Carthaginian and Roman power and enterprise, were 
allotted to the exiles ; for though of the same religion, and almost 
of the same race and language as the people they sought refuge 

5 



CHRISTIAN SLAVERY IN BARBARY. 

amongst, yet they were strangers in a strange land ; the African 
Moors termed them Tigarins (Andalucians); they dwelt and inter- 
married tog-ether, and were long- known to Europeans, in the 
lingua franca of the Mediterranean, by the appellation of Moriscos. 
At the period of this forced migration, the Barbary Moors knew 
nothing* of navigation ; what little commerce they had was carried 
on by the ships of Cadiz, Genoa, and Ragusa. But the Moriscos, 
confined to the sea-coast, and debarred from agriculture, had 
no sooner rendered the ancient ruins habitable, than they turned 
their attention to naval affairs. Building row-boats, carrying 
from fourteen to twenty-six oars, they boldly put to sea, and 
incited by feelings of the deadliest enmity, revenged themselves 
on the hated Spaniard, at the same time that they plun- 
dered for a livelihood. Crossing the narrow channel which 
separates the two continents, and lying off out of sight of the 
Spanish coast during the day, they landed at night — not as 
strangers, but on the shores of their native land, where every bay 
and creek, every path and pass, every village and homestead, were 
as well known to them as to the Christian Spaniard. In the 
morning, mangled bodies and burning houses testified that the 
Moriscos had been there; while all portable plunder, every 
captured Christian not too old or too young to be a slave, was in 
the row-boat speeding swiftly to the African coast. The harassed 
Spaniards kept watch and ward, winter and summer, from sunrise 
to sunset, and sometimes succeeded in cutting off small parties 
of the piratical invaders ; yet such was the audacity of the 
Moriscos, and so well were their incursions planned, that fre- 
quently they plundered villages miles in the interior. Then ensued 
the hasty flight and hot pursuit; the freebooters retreating to 
the boats, driving before them, at the lances' point, unfortunate 
captives, laden with the plunder of their own dwellings; the 
pursuers, horse and foot, following into the very water, and firing 
on the retiring row-boats till their long oars swept them out of 
gunshot. The Barbary Moors soon joined the Moriscos in those 
exciting and profitable adventures ; and thus originated the atro- 
cious practice, which being subsequently recognised in treaties made 
by the various European powers, became, according to the laws of 
nations, a legally organised system of Christian slavery. 

In 1509, Ferdinand the Catholic, anxious to stop the Morisco 
depredations on the Spanish coast, sent a considerable force, under 
the celebrated Cardinal Ximenes, to invade Barbary. During this 
expedition, the Spaniards released 300 captives, and took posses- 
sion of Oran and a few other unimportant places on the coast. 
One of those was a small island, about a mile from the main, 
lying exactly opposite the town since known as Algiers, but 
previously so little recognised by history, that it is not certain 
when it received the name. In all probability, it acquired the 
high-sounding appellation of Al Ghezire (The Invincible) at a 
subsequent period. Carefully fortifying this insulated rock, the 



CHRISTIAN SLAVERY IN BARBARY. 

Spaniards, by (he superiority of their artillery, held possession of 
it for several years, as a sort of outpost, and a curb upon the 
piratical tendencies of the native powers. 

One of these extraordinary adventurers, who, rising from 
nothing", carve out kingdoms for themselves with the edge of 
their sabres, and gleaming at intervals on an astonished world, 
vanish into utter darkness, like comets in their erratic orbits, 
appeared at this time, and changed the destinies of the greater 
part of Northern Africa. The son of a poor Greek potter in the 
island of Mitylene worked with his father till a younger brother 
was able to take his place in assisting to support the family ; then 
going on board a Turkish war-vessel, he signified his desire 
to become a Mussulman, and enter the service. His offer was 
accepted, he received the Turkish name of Aroudje — his previous 
appellation is unknown — and in a short time, his tierce intrepidity 
and nautical skill raised him to the command of a vessel belonging 
to the sultan. Intrusted with a considerable sum of money, 
to pay the Turkish garrisons in the Morea, he sailed from Con- 
stantinople, and having passed the Dardanelles, he mustered his 
crew, and declared his intentions of renouncing allegiance to the 
Porte. He told them that, if they would stand by him, he would 
lead them to the western waters of the Mediterranean, where 
prizes of all nations might be captured in abundance, where there 
were no knights of Rhodes to contend against, and where they 
would be completely out of the power of the sultan. A project 
60 much in unison with the predilections of the rude crew was 
received with enthusiastic acclamations of assent. Aroudje then 
steered for his native island of Mitylene, where he landed, and 
gave a large sum of money to his mother and sisters ; and being 
joined by his brother, who, becoming a Mohammedan, assumed the 
name of Hayraddin, he weighed anchor, and turned his prow to 
the westward. Arriving off the island of Elba, he fell in with 
two portly argosies under papal colours. Piracy in these western 
seas having previously been carried on in the Morisco row-boats 
only, the Christians were not alarmed, but believing Aroudje to 
be an honest trader, permitted him to run alongside, as he seemed 
to wish to communicate some information. They were quickly 
undeceived. Boarding the nearest one, he immediately took 
possession of her, and then dressing his men in the clothes of the 
captured crew, he bore down upon her unsuspecting consort. She 
was captured also, with scarcely a blow; and Aroudje found him- 
self in possession of two ships, each much larger than his own, 
with cargoes of o- re at value, and some hundreds of prisoners. 
The fame of this bold action resounded from the southern shores 
of Europe to the opposite coast of Africa. Such captives as were 
ransomed, when describing the appearance of Aroudje, did not 
fail to recount the ferocious aspect of his huge red beard, so 
unusual an appendage to a native of the south, and thus he 
obtained the name of Barbarossa (Redbeard), so long the terror of 

7 



CHRISTIAN SLAVERY IN BARBARY. 

the Mediterranean. Taking- his prizes to Tunis, one of the small 
states that had once been part of the great Saracen Empire in 
Barbary, Aroudje was well received by the king - , who allowed 
him to use the island and fort of Goleta as a naval depot, on 
condition of paying* a certain percentage on all prizes. Adding- 
daily to his wealth and fleet, the daring* sea-rover had no lack of 
followers : Turkish and Moorish adventurers eagerly enrolled 
themselves under his fortunate banner. 

The precarious position of the petty Barbary states, threatened 
by the Berbers and Bedouins of the interior on the land-side, and 
menaced by the Spaniards on the sea-board, was highly favourable 
to the ambitious aspirations of the potter's son. The district of 
Jijil being* attacked by famine, he seized the corn-ships of Sicily, 
and distributed the grain freely and without price among* the 
starving* inhabitants, wfcio gratefully proclaimed him their king- ; 
and in a few years his army equalled in magnitude his still 
increasing* fleet. The fort built by the Spaniards on the island oft" 
Algiers was a great annoyance to Eutemi, the Moorish king* of that 
little state. Unwisely, he applied to Barbarossa for aid to evict 
the Spaniard, and eagerly was the request granted. With 5000 
men, the pirate chief marched to Algiers, where the people hailed 
him as a deliverer; Eutemi was murdered, and Aroudje proclaimed 
king. The throne thus usurped by audacity, he established by 
policy ; profusely liberal to his friends, ferociously cruel to his 
enemies, he was loved and dreaded by all his subjects. His reign, 
however, was short, being defeated and killed in battle by the 
Spaniards, only two years after he ascended the throne. In such 
estimation was this victory held, that the head, shirt-of-mail, and 
gold-embroidered vest of the slain warrior were carried on a 
lance, in triumphant procession, through the principal cities of 
Spain, and then deposited as sacred trophies in the church of St 
Jerome at Cordova. Hayraddin, who is styled by the old historians 
Barbarossa II., succeeded his brother, but, feeling his position 
insecure, he tendered the sovereignty of Algiers to the Grand 
Seignior, on condition of being appointed viceroy and receiving 
a contingent of troops. Sultan Selim, gladly accepting the offer, 
sent a firman creating Hayraddin pacha, and a force of 2000 
janizaries. From that period, the Ottoman supremacy over the 
Moorish and Morisco inhabitants of Algiers was firmly established. 

Piracy upon all Christian nations was still vigorously carried 
on from Tunis and other ports of Barbary ; but the harbour of 
Algiers being commanded by the island fort in possession of the 
Spaniards, was deprived of that nefarious source of wealth. This 
island was long the ' Castle Dangerous' of the Spanish service ; nor 
was it till 1530, that, betrayed by a discontented soldier, it fell into 
the hands of Hayraddin. Don Martin, the Spanish governor, who 
had long and nobly defended the isolated rock, was brought a 
wounded captive before the truculent pacha. ' I respect you/ 
said Hayraddin, i as a brave man and a good soldier. Whatever 

8 



CHRISTIAN SLAVERY IN EAREARY. 

favour you may ask of me I will grant, on condition that you will 
accede to whatever I may request.' 

' Agreed, 1 replied Don Martin. 'Cut off the head of the base 
Spaniard who betrayed his countrymen.' 

The wretch was immediately brought in, and decapitated on the 
spot. 

• .\«>w.' rejoined Hayraddin, 'my request is that you become a 
Mussulman, and take command of my army.' 

• Never!' exclaimed the chivalrous Don Martin; and imme- 
diately, at a signal from the enraged pacha, a dozen yataghans 
leaped from their sheaths, and the faithful Christian was cut to 
pieces on the floor of the presence-chamber. 

The island, SO long a source of danger and annoyance to the 
Algerines, was now made their safest defence, Hayraddin conceiv- 
ingthe bold idea of uniting it to the mainland by a mole and break- 
v. ntcr. This really great undertaking, which still evinces the 
engineering and mechanical skill of its promoters, was the work of 
thousands of wretched Christian slaves, who laboured at it inces- 
santly for three years before it was completed. Thus the Algerines 
obtained a commodious harbour for their shipping*, secure against 
all storms, and, at that time, impregnable to all enemies. 

In \o3-2, the people of Tunis rebelling, deposed their king-, and 
invited the willing Hayraddin to become their ruler. With this 
increase of power his boldness increased also. Out of his many 
daring exploits at this period, we need mention only one. Hearing 
that Julian Gonzago, the wife of Vespasian Colonna, Count of 
Fondi, was the most beautiful woman in Europe, Hayraddin made 
a descent in the night on the town of Fondi ; scaling* the walls, the 
fierce Moslems plundered the town, and carried off numbers of the 
inhabitants into slavery. Fortunately, the countess escaped to the 
fields in her night-dress, and thus evaded the clutches of the pirate, 
who, to revenge his disappointment, ravaged the whole Neapolitan 
coast before he returned to Tunis. 

The eyes of all Europe were now turned imploringly to the 
only power considered capable of contending with this ' monstrous 
scourge of Christendom.' The emperor Charles V. eagerly re- 
sponded to the appeal, and summoned forth the united strength 
of his vast dominions to equip the most powerful armada that 
had ever ploughed the waves of the Mediterranean; the Low 
Countries, Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Genoa, furnished their 
bravest veterans and best appointed ships ; the Knights of St 
John supplied a few vessels, small, yet formidable from the well- 
known valour of the chevaliers who served in them ; the pope 
contributed his blessing ; and the immense armament, inspired with 
all the enthusiasm of the Crusades, but directed to a more rational 
and legitimate object, rendezvoused at Cagliari — a convenient 
harbour in Sardinia. 

Hayraddin, aware of the object and destination of this vast 
armament, energetically prepared to give it a suitable reception. 

No. 76. 9 



CHRISTIAN SLAVERY IN BARBARY. 

Night and day the miserable Christian slaves, rivetting their own 
fetters, were employed in erecting- new, and strengthening old 
fortifications ; and as a last resource, in case of defeat, the shrewd 
pacha sent eighteen sail of his best ships to Bona. In July 1537, 
the emperor's fleet was descried from the towers of Tunis ; and 
Hayraddin made the last dispositions for defence by placing his 
treasure, seraglio, and slaves in the citadel, under a strong guard, 
with the intention of retreating thither if the city and port were 
taken. 

Charles, after landing his troops, commenced a simultaneous 
attack by land and sea. Hayraddin, with much inferior force, yet 
greater advantage of position, conducted the defence with skill 
and determination. But in the heat of the conflict, the Christian 
slaves, distracted with suspense, and excited to frenzy by the 
thunder of the cannonade, burst their bonds, overpowered their 
guards, and turned the guns of the citadel upon their Moslem 
masters. Hayraddin, then seeing that the day was irrecoverably 
lost, fled with the remnant of his army to the ships at Bona. 
Charles reinstated the deposed king of Tunis as his vassal, and on 
condition, that for the future, all Christians brought as captives to 
Tunis should be liberated without ransom. With 20,000 Christians 
released from slavery by the power of his arms — the noblest trophy 
conqueror ever bore — Charles returned in triumph to Europe. Not 
only did he restore these unfortunate captives to liberty, but he 
furnished all of them with suitable apparel, and the means of 
returning to their respective countries. Such munificence spread 
the fame of Charles over all the world ; for though it entailed on 
him immense expense, he had personally gained nothing by the 
conquest of Tunis : disinterestedly he had fought for the honour 
of the Christian name, for Christian securit}' and welfare. Yet 
we regret to have to add one fact, highly characteristic of the age : 
when Charles left Africa, he also carried off 10,000 Mohammedans 
to be slaves for life, chained to the oars in the galleys of Spain, 
Italy, and Malta. 

We must now return to Hayraddin, the second Barbarossa, 
whom we left in full retreat to Bona, where he had sagaciously 
sent his ships to be out of harm's way at Tunis. As soon as he 
arrived at Bona, he embarked his men, and put to sea. 

' Let us go to the Levant,' said his officers, ' and beg assistance 
from the sultan.' 

' To the Levant, did you say 1 ' exclaimed the incensed pirate. 
' Am I a man to shew my back ? Must I fly for refuge to Con- 
stantinople ? Depend upon it, I am far more likely to attack the 
emperor's dominions in Flanders. Cease your prating ; follow me, 
and obey orders.' Steering for Minorca, he soon appeared off the 
well-fortified harbour of Port Mahon. The incautious Minorcans 
believing the pirates utterly exterminated, and that the gallant 
fleet entering their harbour was returning from the conquest of 
Tunis, ran to the port to gTeet and welcome the supposed victors. 

10 



CHRISTIAN SLAVERY IN BARBARY. 

Not a gun was loaded, not a battery manned, when Hayraddin, 
swooping- like an eagle on its prey, sacked the town, carried off an 
immense booty in money and military stores, and with 6000 
captive Minorcans, returned in triumph to Algiers. This was his 
last exploit that falls within our province to relate. Earnestly 
solicited by the sultan, he relinquished the pachalic to take supreme 
command of the Ottoman fleet. After a life spent in stratagem 
and war, he died at an advanced age; and still along the Christian 
shores of the Mediterranean, mothers frighten their unruly children 
with the name of Barbaro&sa. 

Hassan Aga, a Sardinian renegttde, was next appointed to the 
vice-royalty. A corsair from his youth, he was well fitted for 
the office, and during his rule the piratical depredations increased 
in number and audacity. The continuous line of watch-towers 
that engirdle the southern coast of Spain, and have so picturesque 
an etfect at the present day, were built as a defence against 

m's cruisers. Once more all Europe turned to the emperor 
Charles for relief and protection. Pope Paul III. wrote a letter 
imploring him ' to reduce Algiers, which, since the conquest of 
Tunis, lias been the common receptacle of all the freebooters, and 

.terminate that lawless race, the implacable enemies of the 
Christian faith.' Moved by such entreaties, and thirsting for 
glory, Charles equipped a fleet equal in magnitude to that with 
which he had conquered Tunis. A navy of 500 ships, an army 
of 27,000 picked men, and 150 Knights of Malta, with noblemen 
and gentlemen volunteers of all nations, many of them English, 
sailed on this great expedition. To oppose such a powerful force, 
Hassan had only 800 Turks and 5000 Moors and Moriscos. On 
arriving at Algiers, Charles summoned the pacha to surrender, 
but received a most contemptuous reply. The troops were 
immediately disembarked, though with great difficulty, owing to 
stormy weather ; and the increasing gale cutting off communication 
with the fleet, before sufficient stores and camp equipage could be 
landed, Charles and his army were left with scanty provision, and 
exposed to torrents of rain. A night passed in this miserable 
condition. The next day, the tempest increased. The next night, 
the troops, exhausted by want of food and exposure to the ele- 
ments, were unable to lie down, the ground being' knee-deep in 
mud. Hassan was too vigilant a warrior not to take advantage of 
this state of affairs. Before daybreak, on the second morning, 
with a strong body of horse and foot, he sallied out upon the 
Christian camp. Weak from hunger and want of rest, benumbed 
"by exposure to the cold and rain, their powder wet, and their 
matches extinguished, the advanced division of Charles's army 
were easily defeated by Hassan's fresh and vigorous troops. The 
main body advanced to the rescue, and after a sharp contest, 
Hassan's small detachment was repulsed, and driven back into the 
city. The Knights of Malta, among whom a chivalrous emulation 
existed with respect to which of them would first stick his dagger 

n 



CHRISTIAN SLAVERY IN BARBARY. 

in the gate of Algiers, rashly following- the retreating* Hassan, led 
the army up to the city, where they were mowed down in hundreds 
by the tire from the walls. Retreating' in confusion from this 
false position, they were again charged by Hassan's impetuous 
cavalry, and the knights of Malta, to save the whole army from 
destruction, drew up in a body to cover the rear. Conspicuous by 
their scarlet upper garments, embroidered with a white cross, they 
served for a short time as a rallying-point ; but it was not till 
Charles, armed with sword and buckler, joined his troops, and 
stimulated them to fresh exertions by fighting in their ranks, that 
the Algerines were compelled to return to their strongholds. In 
this desperate conflict the Knights of Malta were nearly all killed. 
Only one of them, Ponce de Salignac, the standard-bearer, had 
reached and stuck his dagger in the gate, but, pierced with 
innumerable wounds, he did not live to enjoy the honour of the 
foolhardy feat. Another night of tempest and privation followed 
this discouraging battle ; hundreds of the debilitated troops were 
blown down by the violence of the wind, and smothered in the 
mud. When the day broke, Charles saw 200 of his war-ships 
and transports, containing 8000 men, driven on shore, and such of 
their crews as were not swallowed up by the waves, led off into 
captivity by the exulting enemy. The rest of the fleet sought 
shelter under a headland four miles off, and thither Charles fol- 
lowed them ; but his famished troops, continually harassed by the 
enemy, were two days in retreating that short distance. With 
great difficulty, Charles, and a small remnant of his once powerful 
army, reached the ships, and made sail from the inhospitable 
coast. So many captives were taken, and such was their enfeebled 
condition, that numbers were sold by the captors for an onion 
each. ' Do you remember the day when your countryman was 
sold for an onion ? ' was for years afterwards a favourite taunt of 
the Algerine to the Spaniard. Enriched with slaves, valuable 
military and naval stores, treasure, horses, costly trappings — all 
brought to their own doors — the pride of the Algerines knew no 
bounds, and they sneeringly said that Charles brought them this 
-immense plunder to save them the trouble of going to fetch it. 
Hassan generously refused to take any part of the spoil, saying 
that the honour of defeating the most powerful of Christian princes 
was quite sufficient for his share. 

After this great victory, the Algerines, confident of the impreg- 
nability of their city, turned their attention to increasing their 
power on sea. The vessels hitherto used for warlike purposes in 
the Mediterranean were galleys, principally propelled by oars 
rowed by slaves ; and in quickness of manoeuvre and capability of 
being propelled during a calm, were somewhat analogous to the 
steam-boat of the present day, and had a decided advantage over 
the less easily managed sailing-vessels. Not constructed to mount 
heavy ordnance, the system of naval tactics adopted in the galleys 
was to close with the enemv, whenever eligible, and then the 
12 



CHRISTIAN SLAVERY IN BAEBARY. 

battle was fought with small-arms — arrows, and even stones, being 
used as weapons of attack and defence. The Algerines, however, 
labouring in their vocation, as Falstaff would have said, captured 
many large ships of Northern Europe, built for long voyages and 
to contend with stormy seas. Equipping these with cannon, they 
were enabled to destroy the galleys before the latter could close 
with them ; and thus introducing a new system of naval warfare, 
they gained a complete ascendancy in the waters of the Mediter- 
ranean. Nor did they long confine their depredations to that 
sea. In 1574, an Algerine fleet surprised the tunny fishery of 
the Duke of Medina, near Cadiz, and captured 200 slaves; but 
one of the piratical vessels running ashore, a large number were 
retaken by their countrymen. In 1585, Morat, a celebrated 
ooraair, landed at night on Lancelote, one of the Canary Islands, 
and carried oil* a large booty, with 300 prisoners ; among whom 
were the wife, mother, and daughter of the Spanish governor. 
Standing out to sea the next morning, until out of gun-range, the 
pirate hove-to, and shewing a flag of truce, treated for the ransom 
of his captives ; and afterwards, eluding by seamanship and 
cunning a Spanish fleet waiting to intercept him at the mouth 
of the Straits, exultingly returned to Algiers. In the following 
century, pushing their piracies still further, the English Channel 
became one of their regular cruising-grounds. In 1631, the town 
of Baltimore, in Ireland, was plundered by Morat Rais, a Flemish 
renegade, and 237 men, women, and children, ' even to the babe 
in the cradle,' carried off into captivity. Aware of the strong 
family affections of the Irish, we can well believe Pierre Dan, a 
Redemptionist monk, who saw those poor creatures in Algiers. 
1 ''• Bays : l It was one of the most pitiable of sights to see them 
exposed for sale. There was not a Christian in Algiers who did 
not shed tears at the lamentations of these captives in the slave- 
market, when husband and wife, mother and child, were sepa- 
rated.* Is it not,' indignantly adds the worthy father, ' making 
the Almighty a bankrupt, to sell His most precious property in 
this cruel manner ? ' About the same time, two corsairs, guided 
by a Danish renegade, proceeded as far as Iceland, where they 
captured no less than 800 persons, a few of whom were ransomed 
several years afterwards by Christian IV., king of Denmark. 

The existence of such an organised system of piracy may well 
excite our wonder at the present day ; but the truth is, that since the 
time of the Vikings, to the latter part of the last century, the high 
seas were never clear of pirates belonging to one nation or another. 
Besides, the commercial jealousies and almost continual wars of 
the European nations, prevented them from uniting to crush the 
Barbary rovers. The English and Dutch maintained an extensive 
commerce with the Algerines, supplying them with gunpowder, 
arms, and naval stores ; and found it more profitable to pay their 

* At a later period, the Algerines did not separate slave-families. 

13 



CHRISTIAN SLAVERY IN BARBARY. 

customers a heavy tribute for a sort of half-peace, than to be at 
open war with them. De Witt, the famous Dutch admiral and 
statesman, in his Interest of Holland, thus views the question. 
' Although/ he says, ' our ships should be well guarded by convoys 
against the Barbary pirates, yet it would by no means be proper 
to free the seas from those freebooters— because we should thereby 
be put on the same footing" as the French, Spanish, and Italians ; 
wherefore it is best to leave that thorn in the sides of those nations.' 
An English statesman, in an official paper written in 1671, amongst 
other objections to the surrender of Tangier, urges the advantage 
of making- it an open port for the Barbary pirates to sell their 
prizes and refit at, in the same manner as they were permitted to 
do in the French ports. It is an actual fact that, in the seventeenth 
century, when England and France were at peace, Algerine cruisers 
frequently landed their English captives at Bordeaux, whence 
they were marched in handcuffs to Marseille, and there reshipped 
in other vessels, and taken to Algiers. This proceeding was to 
avoid the risk of recapture in the Straits of Gibraltar, and also 
to allow the pirates to remain out longer on their cruise, unencum- 
bered with prisoners. Numerous instances of the complicity of 
European powers with this nefarious system might be adduced. 
Sir Cloudesley Shovel, in 1703, protected a Barbary pirate from 
receiving a well-merited chastisement from a Dutch squadron ; but 
that need not surprise the reader, for at the same time the gallant 
admiral had power under the Great Seal to visit Algiers, Tunis, 
and Tripoli, make the usual presents, and i if he could prevail with 
them to make war against France, and that some act of hostility 
was thereupon committed, he was to give such further presents as 
he should think proper.' 

The political system of the Algerines requires a few words. The 
authority of the Porte was soon shaken off, and then the janizaries, 
or soldiers, forming a kind of aristocratic democracy, chose a 
governor from their own number, under the familiar title of Dey 
(Uncle) ; and ruled the native Moors as an inferior and conquered 
race. Neither Moor nor Morisco was permitted to have any voice 
in the government, or to hold any office under it ; the wealthiest 
native, if he met a janizary in the street, had to give way to let 
the proud soldier pass. The janizaries were all either Turks or 
renegades (slaves who had turned Mohammedans) : so strictly was 
this rule carried out, that the son of a janizary by a Moorish woman 
was not allowed the privileges of his father, though the offspring 
of a janizary and a Christian slave was recognised as one of the 
dominant race. The janizaries were in number about 12,000 ; their 
ranks were annually recruited by renegades and adventurous Turks 
from the Levant ; they served by sea as well as by land, and were 
employed in controlling the tributary native chiefs of the interior, 
and sailing in the piratical cruisers. Piracy being the basis of 
this system, the whole foreign policy of the Algerines consisted in 
claiming the right of maintaining constant war with all Christian 

14 



CHRISTIAN SLAVERY IN BARBARY. 

nations that did not conciliate them by tribute and treaties. When 
a "European consul arrived at Algiers, he always carried a large 
present to the dey, and as the latter would, in a short time, quarrel 
with and send away the consul, in expectation of receiving* the usual 
present with his successor, it was found more convenient to 
make an occasional present, than incur the trouble and risk of a 
continual change of consuls. In course of time, these occasional 
presents became a tribute of 17,000 dollars, regularly paid every 
two years. 

The miseries of Algerine bondage have long been proverbial over 
all the Christian world, yet they appear light when calmly examined 
;ii id contrasted with other systems of slavery. Most travellers in 
Mohammedan countries have remarked the general kindness with 
which slaves are treated. General Eaton, consul of the United States 
at Tunis in 175)1), writes thus: — 'Truth and justice demand from 
me the confession, that the Christian slaves among the barbarians 
of Africa are treated with more humanity than the African slaves 
among the Christians of civilised America.' John Wesley, when 
addressing those connected with the negro slave-trade, said : ' You 
have carried them into the vilest slavery, never to end but with 
life — such slavery as is not found with the Turks at Algiers.' In 
fact, the creed of Islam, not recognising perpetual and uncondi- 
tional bondage, gave the slave a right of redemption by purchase, 
according to a precept of the Koran. This right of redemption 
was daily claimed and acknowledged in Barbary ; and though it 
was only the richer class that could immediately benefit by it, yet 
it was a great alleviation to the general hardship of the system ; 
and numbers of the poorer captives, by exercise of their various 
trades and professions, realised money, and were in a short time 
able to redeem themselves. Again, no prejudice of race existed 
in the mind of the master against his unhappy bondsman. The 
meanest Christian slave, on becoming a Mohammedan, was free, 
and enrolled as a janizary, having superior privileges even to the 
native Moor or Morisco, and he and his descendants were eligible 
to the highest offices in the state. Ladies, when captured, were 
invariably treated with respect, and, till ransomed, lodged in a 
building set apart for the purpose, under the charge of a high 
officer, similar to our mayor. The most perfect toleration was 
extended to the exercise of the Christian religion ; the four great 
festivals of the Roman Church— Christmas, Easter, and the nativi- 
ties of St John and the Virgin — were recognised as holidays for the 
slaves. We read of a large slaveholder purchasing a priest expressly 
for the spiritual comfort of his bondsmen ; and of other masters who 
regularly, once a week, marched their slaves off to confession. The 
Algerines were shrewd enough to prefer a religious slave to his less 
conscientious fellows. ' Christianity,' they used to say, < was better 
for a man than no religion at all.' 'Nor were thev zealous to make 
adult converts. l A bad Christian,' they said, ' can never make a 
good Mussulman.' It was only slaves of known good character 

15 



CHRISTIAN SLAVERY IN BARBARY. 

and conduct who were received into the Moslem community". 
Children, however, were brought up Mohammedans, adopted in 
families, and 'became the heirs of their adopters. Captured 
ecclesiastics were treated with respect, never set to work, but 
allowed to join the religious houses established in Algiers. 

One of the greatest alleviations to the miseries of the captives 
was the hospital founded for their benefit, by that noble order of 
monks, the Trinitarian Brothers of Redemption. This order was 
instituted in 1188, during" the pontificate of Innocent III. Its 
founder, Jean Matha, was a native of Provence, and, according" to 
the old chronicles, a saint from his birth ; for when a baby at the 
breast, he voluntarily abstained every fast-day ! Having- entered 
the priesthood, on performing" his first mass, an extraordinary vision 
was witnessed by the congregation. An angelic being-, clothed in 
white raiment, appeared above the altar, with an imploring- expres- 
sion of countenance, and arms crossed ; his hands were placed on 
the heads of two fettered slaves, as if he wished to redeem them. 
The fame of this miracle soon spread to Rome. Journeying- thither, 
Matha said mass before the pope; and the wonderful apparition 
being" repeated, Innocent granted the requisite concessions for insti- 
tuting* the order of Redemptionists, whose sole object was to collect 
alms, and apply them to the relief and redemption of Christian 
slaves. With whatever degree of suspicion such conventual legends 
may be regarded, it is gratifying to find that the order was truly 
a blessed charity, and that our own countrymen were among the 
earliest and most zealous of its members. Within a year from its 
institution, Brother John of Scotland, a professor at Oxford, and 
Brother William of England, a priest in London, departed on the 
first voyage of redemption, and after many dangers and hardships, 
returned from the East with 1286 ransomed slaves. It was not, 
however, till 15-31 that the order was enabled to form a regular 
establishment at Algiers. In that year, Brother Sebastian purchased 
a large building, and converted it into an hospital for sick and 
disabled slaves. As neither work nor ransom could be got out of 
a dead slave, the masters soon perceived the benefit' of the hospital, 
and they levied a tax on all Christian vessels frequenting the port to 
aid in sustaining it. Among so many captives, there were always 
plenty of experienced medical men to perform the requisite duties ; 
and no inconsiderable revenue to the funds, of the institution was 
derived by dispensing medicines and advice to the Moslems. A 
Father Administrator and two brothers of the order constantly 
resided in Algiers to manage the affairs of the hospital, which from 
time to time was extended and improved, till it became one of the 
largest and finest buildings in the city. The owners of slaves who 
received the benefit of this charity, contributed nothing towards it, 
but on each slave being admitted, his proprietor paid one dollar 
to the Father Administrator, which, if the patient recovered, was 
returned to the master, but if he died, was kept to defray his funeral 
expenses. For a long period, there was no place of interment 
id 



CHRISTIAN SLAVERY IN BARBARY. 

allotted to the captives ; their dead bodies were thrown outside 
the city walls, to be devoured by the hordes of street-dogs which 
infest the towns of Mohammedan countries. At length, by the 
noble self-denial of a private individual, whose name, we regret to 
say, we are unable to trace, a slave's burial-ground was obtained. 
A ( apuchin-friar, the friend and confessor of Don John of Austria, 
natural son of the Emperor Charles V., was taken captive. Know- 
ing the esteem in which lie was held by the prince, an immense 
sum was demanded for his ransom. The money was immediately 
forwarded ; but instead of purchasing his freedom, the disinterested 
philanthropist bought a piece of ground for a burial-place for 
( Ihristian slaves, and, devoting himself to solace the spiritual and 
temporal wants of his unhappy co-religionists, uncomplainingly 
ed the r< si of his life in exile and captivity. 

A few years after the founding of this House of the Spanish 
Hospital, as it was termed, another Christian religious establish- 
ment, the House of the French Mission, was planted in Algiers. A 
certain Duchess d'Eguillon, at the suggestion of the celebrated 
philanthropist Vincent de Paul, who had himself been an Algerine 
captive, commenced this good work by an endowment of 4000 
livres per annum. These two religious nouses were exempted from 
all duties or taxes, and mass was performed in them daily with all 
the pomp and splendour of the Romish Church. There was also a 
chapel in each of the six bagnes — the prisons where the slaves were 
contined at night— in which service was performed on Sundays and 
holidays. The Greek Church had also a chapel and small estab- 
lishment in one of the bagnes. Brother Comelin, of the order of 
Redemption, tells us, in his Voyage, that they celebrated Christmas 
in the Spanish Hospital 'with the same liberty and as solemnly 
as in Christendom. Midnight mass w r as chanted to the sound of 
trumpets, drums, flutes, and hautboys ; so that in the stillness of 
night the infidels heard the w r orship of the true God over all their 
accursed city, from ten at night till two in the morning.' Such 
was Mohammedan toleration in Algiers, at the period, too, we 
should recollect, of the high and palmy days of the Inquisition. 
We may easily conceive what would have been the fate of the 
infidels if they, by any chance, had invaded the midnight silence 
of Rome or Madrid with the sounds of their worship. The only 
exceptions to the general good treatment and respect bestowed 
upon Christian ecclesiastics in Algiers was, when inspired by a 
furious zeal for martyrdom, they openly insulted the Mohammedan 
religion ; or when the populace were excited by forced conversions 
and other intolerant cruelties practised upon Mussulman slaves 
in Europe. We shall briefly mention two instances of such 
occurrences. 

One Pedro, a brother of Redemption, had travelled to Mexico 
and Peru, and collected in those rich countries a vast amount of 
treasure for the order. He then went to Algiers, where he 
employed half the money in ransoming captives, and the other half 

17 



CHRISTIAN SLAVERY IN BARBARY. 

in repairing* and increasing the usefulness of the hospital, where 
he resided, constantly attending- and consoling- the sick slaves. At 
last, thirsting for martyrdom, he one day rushed into a mosque, 
and, with crucifix in hand, cursed and reviled the false Prophet 
Mohammed. In all Mohammedan countries, the penalty of this 
offence is death. But so much were the piety and good works of 
Pedro respected by the Algerine government, that they anxiously 
endeavoured to avoid inflicting the punishment of their law. 
Earnestly they solicited him, with promise of free pardon, to 
acknowledge that he was intoxicated or deranged when he 
committed the rash act, but in vain. Pedro was burned ; and one 
of his leg-bones was long carefully preserved as a holy relic in the 
Spanish Hospital. 

In 1612, a young Mohammedan lady, fifteen years of age, named 
Fatima, daughter of Mehemet Aga, a man of high rank in Algiers, 
when on her way to Constantinople to be married, was captured 
by a Christian cruiser, carried into Corsica, and a very large 
sum of money demanded for her ransom. The distressed father 
speedily sent the money by two relatives, who were furnished 
with safe-conduct passes by the brothers of Redemption. On 
their arrival in Corsica, they were informed that the young lady 
had become a Christian, was christened Maria Eugenia, and 
married to a Corsican gentleman ; and that the money brought for 
her ransom must be appropriated as her dowry. The relatives 
were permitted to see Maria ; she declared her name was still 
Fatima ; and that her baptism and marriage were forced upon her. 
The return of the relatives without either the lady or the money 
caused great excitement in Algiers. By way of retaliation, the 
brothers of Redemption were loaded with chains, and thrown 
into prison, and compelled to pay Mehemet Aga a sum equal to 
that which he had sent for his daughter's ransom. In a short 
time, however, they were released, and permitted to resume their 
customary duties. 

When returning from a successful cruise, as soon as an 
Algerine corsair arrived within sight of the harbour, her crew 
commenced firing guns of rejoicing and triumph, and continued 
them at intervals until she came to anchor. Summoned by these 
signals of success, the inhabitants would flock in numbers to the 
port, there to learn the value of the prize, the circumstances of 
its capture, and to congratulate the pirates. Morgan, a quaint 
old writer, many years attached to the British consulate, says : — 
' These are the times when Algiers very visibly puts on a quite 
new countenance, and it may well be compared to a great bee-hive. 
All is hurry, every one busy, and a cheerful aspect succeeds a 
strange gloom and discontent, like what is to be seen everywhere 
else, when the complaint of dulness of trade, scarcity of business, 
and stagnation of cash reigns universal ; and which is constantly 
to be seen in Algiers during every interval between the taking of 
good prizes.' The dev received the eighth part of the value of 
is 



CHRISTIAN SLAVERY IN BARBARY. 

all prizes, for the service of the government, and had the privilege 
of* selecting his share of the captives, who were brought from the 
1 to the courtyard of his palace, where the European consuls 
attended to claim any of their countrymen who might be con- 
sidered free in accordance with the terms of previous treaties. In 
ninny instances, however, little respect was paid by the strong- 
haiuied captors to such documents. The following reply of one of 
the deys to a remonstrance of the English consul, contains the 
general answer given on such occasions : — ' The Algerines being' 
born pirates, and not able to subsist by any other means, it is the 
Christians' business to be always on their guard, even in time of 
■ ; for if we were to observe punctilios with all those nations 
who purchase peace and liberty from us, we might set fire to our 
shipping, :md become degraded to be camel-drivers.' When the 
newly-made captives were mustered in the dey's courtyard, their 
names, ages, countries, and professions, were minutely taken down 
by a hojia, or government secretary, appointed for the purpose ; 
and then the dey proceeded to make his selection of every eighth, 
person, and of course took care to choose such as, from their 
appearance and description, were likely to pay a smart ransom, 
or those acquainted with the more useful professions and the 
mechanical arts. After the dey had taken his share, the 
remainder of the prisoners, being the property of their captors, 
were taken to the bestian, or slave-market, and appraised, a certain 
value being set upon each individual. From the slave-market 
the unfortunates were then led back to the courtyard, and there 
sold by public auction ; and whatever price was obtained higher 
than the valuation of the slave-market, became the perquisite of 
the dey. 

The government, or, in other words, the dey, was the largest 
slaveholder in Algiers. All the slaves belonging to the govern- 
ment were termed deylic slaves, and distinguished by a small ring* 
of iron fastened round the wrist or ankle ; and excepting those 
who were employed in the palace, or hired out as domestic servants, 
were locked up every night in six large buildings called bagnes. 
Rude beds were provided in the bag*nes, and each deylic slave 
received three small loaves of bread per day, and occasionally 
some coarse cloth for clothing. All the carpenters, blacksmiths, 
masons, ropemakers, and others among the deylic slaves who 
worked at trades connected with house and ship building, received 
a third part of what they earned, when hired out to private 
persons, and even the same sum was paid to them when employed 
on government works. Besides, both at the laying down of the 
keel and launch of a new ship, a handsome gratuity was given to 
all the slave-mechanics employed upon her. Indeed, all the work 
connected with ship-building was performed by Christian slaves. 

The janizaries never condescended to do any kind of work ; the 
native Moors were too lazy and too ignorant ; and the Moriscos 
being forbidden, by the jealous policy of the dominant Turkish 

19 



CHRISTIAN SLAVERY IN BARBARY. 

race, to practise the arts they brought with them from Spain, 
sank, after the first generation, to a level with the native Moor. 
Shipwrights were consequently well treated, many of them 
earning" better wages than they could in their own countries. 
Numbers were thus enabled to purchase their freedom ; but many 
more, seduced by the sensual debaucheries so prevalent wherever 
slavery is recognised, preferred remaining in Algiers as slaves or 
renegades, to returning as freemen to their native lands. Deylic 
slaves, when hired out as sailors, received one-third of their hire, 
and one-third of a freeman's share in the prize-money. Invariably 
at the hour of prayer termed Al Aasar, all work was stopped 
for the day, and the remaining three hours between that time and 
sunset were allowed to the slaves for their own use ; on Friday, 
the Mohammedan Sabbath, they were never set to work ; and 
besides the Christian holidays already mentioned, they had a 
week's rest during the season of Ramadam. Such of the deylic 
slaves as were employed at the more laborious work of drawing 
and carrying* timber, stone, and other heavy articles, were divided 
into gangs, and taken out to work only on alternate days. 

Many slaves never did an hour's work during their captivity ; 
for by the payment of a monthly sum, equivalent to about three 
shillings of our money, any one might be exempted from labour ; 
and even those who could afford to fee their overseers only with a 
smaller sum, were put to the lightest description of toil. Slaves 
when in treaty for ransom were never required to work ; and as 
no person was permitted to leave Algiers in debt, money was 
freely lent at moderate interest to those whose circumstances 
entitled them to hope for ransom. Money, also, was readily 
obtained through the Jews, by drawing bills of exchange on the 
various mercantile cities of Europe. Many slaves, however, by 
working at trades and other means, were enabled to pay the tax 
for immunity from public labour, and support themselves comfort- 
ably in the bagnes. Of this latter class were tailors, shoemakers, 
toy-makers for the Moorish children, letter-writers, and others ; 
and, strange to say, a good many managed to live well by theft 
alone. In each bagne were rive or six licensed wine-shops, kept by 
slaves. This was the most profitable business open to a captive — 
a wine-shop keeper frequently making the price of his ransom in 
one year ; but, preferring wealth to liberty, these persons generally 
remained slaves until the}" were able to retire with considerable 
fortunes. As there was constantly free ingress and egress to and 
from all the bagnes during the day, the wine-shops were always 
crowded with people of all nations ; and though nominally for the 
use of the slaves, yet the renegades, who had not forgotten their 
relish for wine, drank freely therein ; and even many of the 
1 turbaned Turks,' forgetting the law of their Prophet, copiously 
indulged in the forbidden beverage. The Moslem, however, was, 
like Cassio, choleric in his drink, and frequently, brandishing his 
weapon, and threatening the lives of all about him, would refuse 
20 



CHRISTIAN SLAVERY IN BARBARY. 

to pay his shot. As no Christian dare strike a Mussulman, an 
ingenious device was resorted to on such occasions. A stout slave, 
ilarly employed for the purpose, would, at a signal from the 
landlord, adroitly drop a short ladder over the reeling* brawlers 
head ; by this means, without striking" a blow, he was speedily 
brought to the ground, where he was secured till his senses were 
restored by sleep ; and then, if found to have no money, the 
landlord was entitled to retain his arms until the reckoning- 
was paid. 

The largest private slaveholder in Algiers was one Alii Pichellin, 
Capitan Pasha, or High-Admiral of the fleet, who flourished about 
the middle of the seventeenth century, and holds a conspicuous 
position in the Algerine history of the period. He generally 
possessed from 800 to 000 slaves, whom he kept in a bagne of 
his own. Emanuel d'Aranda, a Flemish gentleman, who was for 
some time Pichellin's slave, gives a curious account of bagne-life 
88 he witnessed it. The bagne resembled a long narrow street, 
with high gates at each end, which were shut every evening* after 
the slaves were mustered at sunset, and opened at sunrise every 
morning. Though the deylic slaves each received three loaves 
of bread per day for their sustenance, Pichellin never gave any 
food whatever to his slaves unless they were employed at severe 
labour; for he said that 'a man was unworthy the name of 
slave, if he could not earn or steal between Al Aasar and Al 
Mag-rib' (the three hours before sunset allowed to the slaves) 
' sufficient to support him for the rest of the day.' We may observe 
here, that a Moor, Morisco, or Jew, if detected in theft, was 
punished by the loss of his right hand, and by being opprobriously 
paraded through the streets mounted upon an ass. At the same 
time, neither Moor nor Jew dare even accuse a janizary of so 
disgraceful a crime. Slaves, however, might steal from Moor or 
Jew with open impunity; for even if caught in the act, neither 
dare strike a slave ; and if complaint was made to the dey, he 
would merely order the restitution of the stolen goods, refusing 
to inflict punishment on the following grounds : ' That as the 
Koran did not condemn a man who stole to satisfy his hunger, and 
as a slave was not a free agent, but compelled to depend upon 
his master for food, he could not legally be punished for theft.' 
Under such circumstances, we may readily believe that the 
bagnes, and especially that of Pichellin, were complete dens of 
thieves. Every evening, as soon as the gates were closed, the 
plunder of the day was brought forth and sold by auction; 
the sale being conducted, to the great amusement of the slaves, 
with all the Turkish gravity and formalities of the slave-market. 
Articles not thus disposed of were left in the hands of one of the 
captives, who made it his business, for a small commission, to 
negotiate between the loser and the thief, and accept ransom for 
the stolen property. An Italian in Pichellin's bagne, named Fon- 
timana, was so expert and confident a thief, that without possessing 

21 



CHRISTIAN SLAVERY IN BARBARY. 

the smallest fraction of money in the morning-, he would invite 
a party of friends to sup with him in the evening", trusting- to his 
success in thieving" throughout the day to provide the materials 
for the feast. Of course no satisfaction was obtained when the 
sufferers complained to Pichellin. ' The Christians/ he would say, 
'are all pilfering" rascals. I cannot help it. You must be more 
careful for the future. Have you yet to learn that all my slaves 
wear hooks at the ends of their fingers 1 ' Indeed, he seems to have 
recognised the slaves' right of theft so fully, that he was not angry 
when he himself became the victim. On one occasion, Fontimana 
stole and sold the anchor of his master's g-alley. ' How dare you 
sell my anchor, you Christian dog" 1 ' said Pichellin. ' I thought,' 
replied the thief, ' that the galley would sail better without the 
additional weight.' The master laughed at the impudent reply, 
and said no more on the subject. Another characteristic anecdote 
is recorded of Pichellin and a Portuguese slave, his confidential 
steward and chamberlain. One day, when cruising off the coast 
of Portugal, the Capitan Pasha ran his vessel close in towards 
the land, and having ordered the small boat to be lowered, called 
the slave, and pointing to the beach said : ' There is your native 
country. You have served me faithfully for seventeen years. I 
now give you your freedom.' The Portuguese, falling on his 
knees, kissed the hem of his late master's robe, and was profuse 
in his thanks ; but Pichellin stopped him, coolly saying : ' Do not 
thank me, but God, who put it into my heart to restore you to 
liberty.' While the boat was being prepared to land him, the 
Portuguese, apparently overpowered with feelings of joy, de- 
scended into the cabin, as if to conceal his emotions, but in reality 
to steal Pichellin's most valuable jewels and other portable pro- 
perty, which he quickly concealed round his person. As soon as 
the boat was ready, Pichellin ordered him to be set ashore, and 
not long after discovered his loss when the wily Portuguese was 
far out of his reach. Pichellin had some rough virtues : he prided 
himself on being a man of his word. A Genoese, who had made 
a fortune by trade at Cadiz, was returning to his native country 
with his only child, a girl nine years of age, when his vessel 
was taken on the coast of Spain by Pichellin's cruiser. Not being 
far from land, the crew of the Christian vessel escaped to the 
shore, the terrified Genoese going with them, leaving his daughter 
in the hands of the pirates. Immediately when he saw that his 
child was a captive, he waded into the water, and waved his hat as 
a signal to the Algerines, who, thinking he might be a Moslem 
captive about to escape, sent a boat for him. On reaching the 
cruiser, Pichellin, seeing a Christian, exclaimed : ' What madman 
are you that voluntarily surrenders himself a slave V ' That girl is 
my daughter,' said the Genoese : ' I could not leave her. If you 
will set us to ransom, I will pay it; if not, the satisfaction of 
having done my duty will enable me to support the hardships of 
slavery.' Pichellin appeared struck, and after musing a moment 

22 



CHRISTIAN SLAVERY IN BARBARY. 

said: C I will take fifteen hundred dollars for the ransom of you 
and your daughter.' ' I will pay it/ replied the Genoese. ' Hold, 
master ! ' exclaimed one of Pichellin's slaves ; ' I know that man 
well: he was one of the richest merchants in Cadiz, and can 
afford to pay ten times that amount for ransom.' ' Silence, dog- V 
said the old pirate. ' I have said it : my word is my word.' 
Pichellin was further so accommodating" as to take the merchant's 
bill for the money, and set him and his daughter ashore at once. 

Each slave who, from poverty, ignorance of a trade, or want of 
cunning, was compelled to work in the gangs, always carried a 
bag and a spoon — the bag, to hold anything he might chance to 
steal ; the spoon, in case any charitable person, as was frequently 
the case, should present him with a mess of pottage. Only those, 
however, worked in the gangs who could not by any possibility 
avoid it ; and numberless were the schemes adopted by the slaves 
to raise money to support themselves and secure their exemption 
from that description of labour. Some, at the risk of the bas- 
tinado, smuggled brandy — a strictly forbidden article — into the 
ies, and sold it out in small quantities to such as wanted it. 
Scholars were well employed, by their less learned fellow-captives, 
to correspond with friends in Europe. Latin was the language pre- 
ferred for this correspondence, because it was unintelligible to the 
masters; and the letters frequently contained allusions to property, 
family affairs, and other circumstances, which, if known, would 
raise the price of ransom. The great object of all the captives 
whose wealth entitled them to hopes of ransom, was to simulate 
poverty, concealing their real circumstances or station in life as 
much as possible ; and not unfrequently the Algerines, deceived 
by those professions, permitted persons of wealth and consequence 
to redeem themselves for a trifling sum. On the other hand, 
persons in much poorer circumstances were often detained a long 
time in slavery, ill treated, and held to a high ransom, on the bare 
suspicion of their being wealthy. The Jews, though not per- 
mitted to possess slaves, had, through their commercial ramifica- 
tions in Europe, means of obtaining correct intelligence respecting 
the property and affairs of many captives, which they did not fail 
to profit by, receiving a percentage on the increased ransom gained 
by their information. In a similar way, some artful old slaves, 
of various countries, lived well by making friends with new 
captives, treating them at the wine-shops, and, under the pretext 
of advising them how to act, inducing them to reveal their true 
circumstances, which the spy immediately communicated to his 
master. A grave Spanish cavalier made his living by settling 
quarrels among his countrymen, and deciding all disputes respect- 
ing rank, precedence, and the code of honour ; a small fee being 
paid by each of the parties, and his decision invariably respected. 
A French gentleman contrived to live, and dress well, and give 
frequent dinner-parties, by a curious financial scheme he in- 
vented and practised. Knowing many of the French renegades, 

23 



CHRISTIAN SLAVERY IN EARBARY. 

he borrowed money from them for certain periods at moderate 
interest ; and as one sum fell due, he met it by a loan from a new 
creditor. This system, at first sight, would not appear to be 
profitable ; but the renegades being- constantly employed in the 
cruisers, as in a state of continual warfare, some of the creditors 
w r ere either killed or captured yearly, and having- no heirs, the 
debts were thus cancelled in the French captive's favour. i In 
fine/ says D'Aranda, to whom we are indebted for the preceding- 
peculiarities of bagne-life, ' there can be no better university to 
teach men how to shift for their livelihood; for all the nations 
made some shift to live save the English, who, it seems, are not 
so shiftful as others. During the winter I spent in the bagne, more 
than twenty of that nation died from pure want.' It is clear that 
the unfortunate captives here alluded to must have been persons 
unfit for labour, and unable to procure ransom ; and thus, being 
of no service to their brutal master, were suffered to live or die as 
it might happen. There can be no doubt that the English and 
Dutch captives, of the reformed churches, suffered more privations 
than any others at that period, ere knowledge and intercourse had 
dulled the fiery edge of religious bigotry. All the public charities 
for slaves were founded by the Roman Church, and their bounties 
exclusively bestowed on its followers. No relief was ever given 
to a heretic unless he became a convert ; and it is an exceedingly 
curious illustration of this religious hatred, that it was as rife and 
virulent in the breasts of the renegades who had adopted Moham- 
medanism, as it was amongst those who remained Christians. 
Another great disadvantage which the English captives must have 
laboured under, was their ignorance of the language. The lingua 
franca spoken in Algiers was a compound of French, Spanish, and 
'Italian, with a few Arabic words ; consequently, any native of 
those countries could acquire it in a few days, while the unfortunate 
Briton might be months before he could express his meaning or 
understand what was said to him. 

The hardships of slavery were, in all truth, insufficient to 
extinguish the religious and national animosities of the captives. 
Dreadful conflicts frequently occurred between the partisans of 
the eastern and western churches — Spaniards and Italians uniting 
to batter orthodoxy into the heads of schismatic Greeks and 
Russians. Nor were such disturbances quelled until a strong- 
body of guards, armed with ponderous cudgels, vigorously attack- 
ing both parties, beat them into peaceful submission. Life was 
not unfrequently lost in these contests. A most serious one, in 
which several hundred slaves took part on both sides, occurred 
during D'Aranda's captivity. At the feast of the Assumption, 
the altar of one of the churches was decorated with the Portuguese 
arms, with the motto : ' God will exalt the humble, and bring 
down the - haughty.' The Spaniards, conceiving this to be an 
insulting* reflection on their national honour, tore down the 
obnoxious decoration, and trampled it under their feet. The 

24 



CHRISTIAN SLAVERY IN BARBARY. 

Portuguese immediately retaliated, and a battle ensued between 
the captives of the two nations, which lasted a considerable time, and 
cost several lives. The ring-leaders were severely bastinadoed by 
their masters, who tauntingly told them to sell their lands and 
purchase their freedom, and then they might fight for the honour 
of their respective countries as long and as much as they liked. 
It is pleasing, however, after reading of such scenes, to find that 
the slaves frequently got up theatrical performances. One ot* 
.their favourite pieces was founded on the history of Belisarius. 

The negotiations for ransom were either carried on through the 
Fathers of Redemption, the European consuls, or by the slaves 
themselves. When a province of the order of Redemption had 
raised a sufficiently large sum, the resident Father Administrator in 
Algiers procured a pass from the dey, permitting two fathers to 
come from Europe to make the redemption. The rule of the 
older was, that young- women and children were to be released 
first; then adults belonging to the same nation as the ransomers; 
and after that, if the funds permitted, natives of other countries* 
But, in general, the fathers brought with them a list of the persons 
to be released, who had been recommended to their notice by 
political, ecclesiastical, or other interest. Slaves, who had earned 
and were willing to pay part of their ransom, found favour in the 
eyes of the fathers ; and slaves with very long beards, or of 
singular emaciated appearance, were purchased with a view to 
future effect, in the grand processional displays made by the 
Redemptionists on their return to Europe. 

From a published narrative of a voyage of Redemption made in 
17-20, we extract the following amusing account of an interview 
between two French Redemptionists and the dey. The fathers 
had redeemed their contemplated number of captives with the 
exception of ten belonging to the dey, but he, piqued that his 
slaves had not been purchased first, demanded so high a price for 
each, that they were unwillingly compelled to ransom only three — 
a French gentleman, his son, and a surgeon. ' These slaves being 
brought in, we offered the price demanded (3000 dollars) for them. 
The dey said he would give us another into the bargain. This 
was a tall, well-made 3 r oung Hollander, one of the dey's house- 
hold, who was also present. We remonstrated with the dey, that 
this fourth would not do for us, he being- a Lutheran, and also not 
of our country. The dey's officers laughed, and said, he is a good 
Catholic. The dey said he neither knew nor cared about that. 
The man was a Christian, and that he should go along with the 
other three for 5000 dollars.' 

After a good deal of fencing, and the dey having reduced his 
demand by 500 dollars, the father continues : ' We yet held firm 
to have only the three we had offered 3000 dollars for. " All this 
-is to no purpose," said the dey ; " I am going to send all four to 
you, and, willing or unwilling, you shall have them at the price I 
specified, nor shall you leave Algiers until you have paid it. " But 

25 



CHRISTIAN SLAVERY IN BARBARY. 

we still held out, spite of all his threats, telling" him that he was 
master in his own dominions, but that our money falling- short, we 
could not purchase slaves at such a price. We then took leave of 
him, and that very day he sent us the three slaves we had cheap- 
ened, and let us know we should have the fourth on the day of 
our departure.' The reader will not be sorry to learn that the 
fathers were ultimately compelled to purchase and take away 
with them the ' young Lutheran Hollander.' 

The primary object of the Redemptionists being to raise monej^ 
for the ransom of captives, every advantage was taken to appeal 
successfully to the sympathies of the Christian world, and no 
method was more remunerative than the grand processions which 
they made with the liberated slaves on their return to Europe. 
Father Comelin gives us full particulars of these proceedings. 
The ransomed captives, dressed in red Moorish caps and white 
bornouses, and wearing chains — they never wore in Algiers — 
were met at the entrance of each town they passed through by all 
the clerical, civil, municipal, and military dignitaries of the place. 
Banners, wax-candles, music, and i angels covered with gold, silver, 
and precious stones,' accompanied them in grand procession 
through the town ; the chief men of the district carrying silver 
salvers, on which they collected money from the populace, to be 
applied to future redemptions. 

The first general ransom of British captives was made by money 
apportioned by parliament for the purpose, during the exciting 
events of the civil war. The first vessel despatched was unfortu- 
nately burned in the Bay of Gibraltar, and the treasure lost. A 
fresh sum of money was again granted ; and in 1646, Mr Cason, 
the parliamentary agent, arrived at Algiers. In his official dispatch 
to the ' Committee of the Navy,' now before us, he states that, count- 
ing renegades, there were then 750 English captives in Algiers ; 
and proceeds to say that ' they come to much more a head than 
I expected ; the reason is, there be many women and children, which 
cost L.50 per head, first penny, and might sell for L.100. Besides 
there are divers which were masters of ships, calkers, carpenters, 
sailmakers, coopers, and surgeons, and others wlio are highly 
esteemed.' The agent succeeded in redeeming 244 English, Scotch, 
and Irish captives at the average cost of L.38 each. From the 
official record of their several names, places of birth, and prices, it 
appears that more money was paid for the females than the males. 
The three highest sums on the list are L.75, paid for Mary Bruster 
of Youghal ; L.65 for Alice Hayes of Edinburgh ; and L.50 for 
Elizabeth Mancor of Dundee. The names of several natives of 
Baltimore — in all probability, some of those carried off when that 
town was sacked fifteen years before — are in this list of the redeemed. 
It will scarcely be believed, that strong opposition was mnde by 
the mercantile interest against money being granted by parliament 
for the ransom of those poor Captives — on the grounds, as the 
opposers' petition expresses : i That if the slaves be redeemed 

26 



CHRISTIAN SLAVERY IN BARBARY. 

upon a public score, then seamen will render themselves to the 
mercy of the Algerines, and not fight in defence of the goods and 
ships of the merchants.' A more curious instance of our ancestors' 
wisdom in relation to this subject, occurred during* the profligate 
reign of the second Charles. A large sum of money appropriated 
for the redemption of captives having been lost, somehow, between 
the Navy Board and the Commissioners of Excise, it was gravely 
proposed : ' That whatever loss or damage the English shall sustain 
from Algerines, shall be required and made good to the losers out 
of the estates of the Jews here in England. Because such a law 
may save a great expense of Christian treasure and blood ! ' 

The first attempt to release English captives by force from 
Algiers was made in 1621, after the project had been debated in the 
privy-council for nearly four years. With the exception of rescuing 
about thirty slaves of various nations, who swam off to the English 
ships, this expedition turned out a complete failure. In 1662, 
another fleet was sent, a treaty was made with the dey, and 150 
captives ransomed with money raised by the English clergy in 
their several parishes. In 1664, 1672, 1682, and 1686, other treaties 
were made with the Algerines : the frequent recurrence of those 
treaties shews the little attention paid to them by the pirates. 

In 1682, Louis XIV. determined to stop the Algerine aggressions 
on France ; and at the same time to try a new and terrible inven- 
tion in the art of war. Renau d'Elicagarry had just laid before 
the French government a plan for building ships of sufficient 
strength to bear the recoil caused by firing bombs from mortars. 
Louis, accordingly, sent Admiral Duquesne with a fleet and some 
of the new bomb-vessels to destroy Algiers. The expedition was 
unsuccessful, the bombs proving nearly as destructive to the French 
as to their enemies. The next year, Duquesne returned, and taught 
by experience, succeeded in firing all his bombs into the pirate 
city. The terrified dey capitulated, and surrendered 600 slaves to 
the fleet ; but sixty-four of those unfortunate captives being dis- 
covered by the French officers to be Englishmen, were sent back 
to the dey ! While a treaty was in preparation, the janizaries, 
indignant at the loss of their slaves, murdered the dey, elected 
another, and manning their forts, commenced firing upon the 
French. Duquesne's bombs being all expended, he was obliged 
to sheer off and return to France. In 1688, Marshal d'Estrees, 
with a powerful fleet, arrived off Algiers. The bombs told with 
terrible effect, and the dey soon sued for peace; but D'Estrees 
replied that he came not to treat, but to punish. On this occasion, 
10,000 bombs were thrown into Algiers ; the city was reduced to 
ruins, and the humbled pirates compelled to sigh a treaty dictated 
by the conqueror. In a few years, however, the demolished forti- 
fications were re-erected stronger than ever, and the incorrigible 
Algerines busy at their old trade of piracy. 

Algerine slavery at last came to an end. At the close of the 
long European war in 1814, the chivalrous Sir Sidney Smith 

27 



CHRISTIAN SLAVERY IN BARBARY. 

proposed a union of all orders of knighthood for the abolition of 
white slavery. His plan was to form ' an amphibious force, to be 
termed the Knights Liberators, Avhich, without compromising- any 
flag, and without depending- on the wars or the political events of 
nations, should constantly guard the Mediterranean, and take upon 
itself the important office of watching-, pursuing-, and capturing all 
pirates by sea and land.' Though Sir Sidney's project fell to the 
ground, yet it had the good effect of calling the attention of the 
British nation to the subject ; and in 1816, Lord Exmouth, with 
an English fleet, sailed to Algiers, destroyed the dey's shipping, 
levelled the fortifications, released altogether about 3000 captives, 
and abolished for ever the atrocious system of Christian slavery. 
The subsequent history of Algiers is foreign to our subject; we may 
merely add, that in 1830 it became, by right of conquest, a French 
colony. 

Limited space compels us to say but little respecting the other 
piratical states of Barbary — Tunis, Tripoli, and Morocco. They, 
however, only dabbled in piratical slavery, not making it a 
systematised profession like the Algerines. When, about the 
middle of the seventeenth century, there were upwards of 30,000 
Christian slaves in Algiers, there were not more than 7000 in 
Tunis, 5000 in Tripoli, and 1500 in Morocco. In the latter part 
of the sixteenth century, Tunis and Tripoli fell under the power of 
the Porte, and for some time were ruled by Turkish viceroys ; 
but in a few years the janizaries, as at Algiers, elected their own 
rulers ; and subsequently the native race, overpowering the jani- 
zaries, gained the ascendancy over their Ottoman masters. Since 
Blake humbled the pride of the Tunisians in 1665, and Narbro 
burned the Tripoli tan fleet in 1676, neither of those states has 
inflicted much injury on British shipping. The treatment of 
slaves at Tunis and Tripoli was considered to be even milder than 
at Algiers : the brothers of Redemption had establishments at 
both places. It was with Tripoli in 1796 that the United States, 
through their envoy, Joel Barlow, made the treaty which caused 
so much animadversion. In that treaty, Mr Barlow, to conciliate 
the Mohammedan powers, declared that ' the government of the 
United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the 
Christian religion.' Notwithstanding so bold an assertion, the 
faithless Tripolitans declared war against the United States in 
1801 ; and after a contest highly creditable to the American navy, 
then in its infancy, peace was concluded between the two powers, 
and 200 captives released from slavery. Both Tunis and Tripoli 
quietly renounced the practice of Christian slavery, when solicited 
to do so by Lord Exmouth in 1816. 

All the territories which formed part of the Roman Empire 
in Africa, subsequently fell under the sway of Constantinople, 
except Morocco. Its fertile soil, almost within cannon-shot of 
Europe, ' on the very verge and hem of civilisation,' has ever 
attracted European cupidity, and the patriotic energy of its people 

28 



CHRISTIAN SLAVERY IN BARBARY. 

has ever repelled Christian domination. Almost all the semi- 
barbarous states of the world have fallen a prey to European 
ambition and enterprise, not only dynasties but races have been 
extinguished, and yet Morocco is still as free from foreign influ- 
ence as the surf of the Atlantic that thunders on its sands. At 
one period, indeed, almost subjugated, it was little more than a 
Portuguese province, when the Cherifs, a family of mendicant 
fanatics, claiming' to be the lineal descendants of Mohammed, 
expelled the invaders, and founded the present dynasty. Spain, it 
is true, still holds two fortresses as penal settlements on the coast ; 
but no Spaniard can even look over an embrasure on the land-side 
without being" saluted by a long- Moorish rifle. It is an actual 
fact, that the governors of those prison forts receive intelligence 
of what passes in the interior of Morocco, from Madrid. 

As in other parts of Barbary, it was the Moriscos, after their 
expulsion from Spain, that founded the system of piratical slavery 
in Morocco. "Who has not read of the Salle.e rovers in Robinson 
Crusoe, and our old ballads ? Yet, compared with the Algerine, 
theirs was, after all, a very petty kind of piracy. The harbour of 
Sallee, the principal port of Morocco, being only suitable for vessels 
drawing little water, the piracy was carried on in galleys and 
row-boats, and was formidable only to small unarmed vessels. 
In 10.37, an English fleet, under Admiral Rainborough, took Sallee, 
and released 290 British captives — ' as many as would have cost 
L. 10,000.' Soon after, the emperor of Morocco sent an ambassador 
to London, who, on his presentation to Charles I., went to court in 
procession, taking with him a number of liberated captives dressed 
in white, and many hawks and Barbary horses splendidly capari- 
soned. Christian slaves in Morocco were invariably the property of 
the emperor, and were mostly employed in constructing buildings of 
tapia — a composition somewhat resembling our concrete. In the 
latter part of the seventeenth century, during the reign of Muley 
Ishmael, a cruel tyrant to his own subjects, and who had a mania 
for building, the captives in Morocco were ill treated, and com- 
pelled to work hard. Yet even then, one Thomas Phelps, who 
made his escape from Mequinez, tells us that the emperor jame 
frequently amongst the slaves when at work, and would l bolt out 
encouraging words to them, such as : " May God send you all 
safe home to your own countries ! " ' and any captive was excused 
from work by the payment of a blanquil — a sum equivalent to our 
2d.— per day. In i685, the emperor had 800 Christian slaves, 
260 of whom were English ; many of those, however, were subse- 
quently ransomed. After Muley fshmael's death, the captives were 
much better treated. Captain Braithwaite, who accompanied Mr 
Russell on a mission from the English government in 1727, thus 
describes the condition of the Christian captives in Morocco : 
1 Most part of them,' he says, ' have expectations of getting back 
to their native country at one time or another. The emperor 
keeps most of them at work upon his buildings, but not to such 

29 



CHRISTIAN SLAVERY IN BARBARY. 

hard labour that our labourers go through. The Canute, where 
they are lodged, is infinitely better than our prisons. In short, the 
captives have a much greater property in what they get than the 
Moors ; several of them being rich, and many have carried consi- 
derable sums out of the country. Several keep their mules, and 
some their servants, to the truth of which we are all witnesses.' 
Morocco was the first of the Barbary states that gave up the 
practice of Christian slavery. In a treaty made with Spain in 
1799, the emperor declared his desire that the name of slavery 
might be effaced from the memory of mankind. 

The adventures of corsairs and captives, being ever of a singu- 
larly romantic character, have afforded many subjects to the 
writers of fiction. At one period, the French, Spanish, and Italian 
novelists and dramatists borrowed all their plots from this prolific 
source. Only one, however, was original. Cervantes, having 
been for nearly six years an Algerine slave, drew captivity from 
the life ; the other writers merely present us with copies of his 
graphic delineations. The tale of The Captive, the novel of The 
Generous Lover, the dramas of Life in Algiers and The Bagnes 
of Algiers,* are evidently not mere works of amusing fiction, but 
were written for a purpose — that purpose being to excite public 
opinion in the favour of unfortunate Christian slaves, and to 
arouse the nations of Christendom to efforts for their liberation. 
The above-mentioned works decidedly appertain to the literature 
of anti-slavery ; and the renowned author of Don Quixote must be 
placed high on the roll of those whom our transatlantic brethren 
would term ' abolitionist writers.' 

The great romance of slavery consists in the escape of the 
bondsman, whether it be effected by cunning or courage. The 
contest is so unequal, the chances of the game so much against 
the runaway, and the stake so high, that the more generous senti- 
ments of human nature are compelled to feel an interest in the 
event, and shew a sympathy to the struggling captive's weakness, 
even when prejudice of race and legal enactments deny it to his 
cause. The working of the fugitive slave-bill in the United 
States exemplifies this feeling in a remarkable degree. The 
old romancists and ballad-writers generally connect a love-affair 
with the escapes of their imaginary captives : from the peculiar 
customs and social relations of Mohammedans, such an occurrence 
is highly improbable. In fa,ct, after no little research, we must 
confess that we never met with an authenticated instance of the 
kind. A few real escapes are still worth mentioning, although the 
romantic element of a ' Moorish lady ' does not enter into the 
story. 

In 1714, a captive, noticing the outlet of a sewer in the port, 
determined to go down the sewer of his bagne at night, and 
discover if it were the same. Finding it to be so, he communicated 

* El Cautivo, El Liberal Amantc, El Trato de Argil, Los Bancs de Argel. 
30 



CHRISTIAN SLAVERY IN BARBARY. 

the fact to several of his fellow-captives, and they anxiously waited 
for a chance of escape. In a short time their wishes were gratified 
by i >bserving a small row-boat ready for sea, lying- close to the mouth 
of the sewer. At dead of night, a number of slaves descended the 
sewer ; but on reaching* the harbour, were attacked by the street- 
9. The noise aroused the guards, who, crying- ' Christians ! 
Christians ! ' ran to the spot, and a fearful conflict ensued. About 
forty of the slaves, notwithstanding-, boarded the row-boat, and 
throwing- her crew into the water, attempted to push out of the 
harbour. At this eventful moment they were met by a series of 
unforeseen obstacles — namely, the hawsers of the vessels, which, 
according- to the usual custom of mooring in Mediterranean ports, 
formed a net-work across the harbour. Dismayed, yet undaunted, 
the escaping- captives, jumping into the water, swam a*nd pushed 
the boat before them, and when they reached a hawser, got on it, 
and, as sailors term it, rode it down by their weight, so as to push 
their light bark over. In a short time, the last hawser was passed ; 
and a dark night and fair wind favouring* the fugitives, the 
second morning afterwards saw them freemen on the island of 
Majorca. The greatest confusion reigned in Algiers during that 
night. At first, it was supposed that all the slaves had broken out 
of the bagnes. The dey, half-dressed, and raving with anger, 
ran up and down the mole, at one moment inciting his men to the 
pursuit with the most extravagant promises ; at another, reproving 
their dilatoriness with blows of his sabre. Foaming with rage, he 
cursed the guards, and sneeringly uttered these prophetic words : 
* I believe the dogs of Christians will one day or other come and 
take us out of our houses.' 

In Purchas's Pilgrims, we have a quaint account of a gallant 
escape from slavery. In 1621, the Jacob of Bristol was taken by 
a Barbary cruiser ; all the crew were removed to the pirate vessel 
with the exception of four lads, named Cook, Jones, Long, and 
Tuckey ; and a guard of thirteen pirates, with an officer, put on 
board the Jacob, to carry her to Algiers. ' These four poor youths,' 
says Purchas, ' being fallen into the hands of merciless infidels, 
began to study and complot all the means they could for the 
obtaining of their freedom.' On the fifth night after their 
capture, Tuckey being at the helm, the other three were ordered to 
take in the mainsail ; the wind being fresh, the Algerine officer 
went to assist, ' when they took him by the hams, and turned him 
overboard ; but by fortune he fell into the belly of the sail, where, 
quickly catching hold of a rope, he being a very strong and vigo- 
rous man, had almost gotten into the ship again ; which Cook per- 
ceiving, leaped speedily to the pump, and took off the pump brake or 
handle, and cast it to Long, bidding him knock him down, which he 
was not long in doing ; but lifting up the wooden weapon, he gave 
him such a palt on the pate as made his brains forsake the posses- 
sion of his head, with which his body fell into the sea.' Fortunately, 
owing to the noise made by the flapping sail, the scuffle was 

31 



CHRISTIAN SLAVERY IN BARBARY. 

unheard by the other pirates, of whom four more were attacked 
and killed, and the rest secured under hatches. The brave lads 
succeeded in carrying' the ship into a Spanish port, ' where they 
sold the nine Turks for galley-slaves, for a good sum of money, 
and, as I think, for a great deal more than they were worth ! 7 
Honest Purchas thus concludes the narration : ' He that shall 
attribute such things as these to the arm of flesh and blood, is 
forgetful, ungrateful, and in a manner atheistical. 7 

We cannot conclude without alluding to what is at least a 
curious coincidence. Barbary, situated between the 29th and 38th 
degrees of north latitude, occupies nearly the same parallel, extends 
over nearly tne same degrees of longitude, and covers nearly the 
same space as the district termed the Slave States of the American 
Union. Still more, Algiers, called by an old writer ' the wall of 
the Christian world/ lies on the parallel of 36° 30' north, which is 
the very line that in the United States is known as the ' Missouri 
Compromise/ and which marks the wall of Christian negro slavery 
west of the Mississippi. Those two districts, separated by the 
broad waters of the Atlantic — the most northerly, continental 
points on both hemispheres, where Christian slavery sought a last 
hiding-place for its disgusting features — have still other important 
resemblances which justify us in respectively terming them African 
and American Barbary. They have both about the same distance 
of sea-coast — African Barbary being bounded on the north by 
the Mediterranean, on the west by the Atlantic ; and American 
Barbary on the south by the Gulf of Mexico, on the east by the 
Atlantic. A reference to an atlas will prove to the reader that there 
are no two places on the globe of equal extent which present so 
many distinctive features of resemblance common to both. Mr 
Sumner, the celebrated American philanthropist, who first pointed 
out this remarkable resemblance, says, that ' perhaps the common 
peculiarities of climate breeding indolence, lassitude, and selfishness, 
may account for the insensibility to the claims of justice and 
humanity which seems to have characterised both regions.' 





HISTORY OF THE SLAVE TRADE. 




LAVERY, in one form or other, has existed in the 
world from the most remote period of history. It 
existed, as we know, among- the patriarchs, and it was 
a recog*nised institution among* the Jews. So also it 
existed among the ancient pagan nations — the Egyptians, 
the Phoenicians, the Greeks, the Romans. When we are 
(engaged in reading the history of any ancient state, we are 
apt to forget that it is only the free inhabitants whom we 
hear much about ; and that, under the same roofs with these free 
men, there was living an immense population of bondsmen or 
slaves, who made no appearance in public affairs, and who, by 
their unhappy fate, were doomed to the performance of menial 
offices, without the hope of alleviation in their condition. 

And was no remorse experienced by nations or individuals in 
reducing members of the human family to compulsory and per- 
petual servitude? History discloses no such sentiment. The 
practice arose out of the selfishness of barbarism, and did not 
appear to its perpetrators either sinful or unjust. Debtors were 
seized, and, in liquidation of petty claims, sold like ordinary pro- 
perty by their ruthless creditors. Gamblers, having lost every- 
thing, staked their persons as a last chance ; and being unsuccess- 
ful, became the bondsmen of the fortunate winner. Men, for their 
crimes, were deprived of liberty, and publicly sold into bondage. 
In cases of famine, parents disposed of children as a marketable 
commodity, to relieve their own wants, and at the same time 
provide food for their remaining offspring. And lastly, came 
war, the scourge of mankind, and the fruitful cause of slavery in 
No. 1.0. l 



HISTORY OF THE SLAVE TRADE. 

all ancient nations. " It was a law established from time im- 
memorial among 1 the states of antiquity," says a Greek author, 
"to oblige those to undergo the severities of servitude whom 
victory had thrown into their hands." There was an excep- 
tion, however, in the case of civil war, the prisoners taken in 
which were not made slaves, but generally massacred. Besides 
the regular wars between nation and nation, it sometimes hap- 
pened that a vagrant population overran an adjoining country, 
and made the peaceful and dispossessed inhabitants their slaves. 
Thus the Spartans were served by a race of hereditary bonds- 
men, the old inhabitants of the district, called Helots — a term 
afterwards used by the Romans to designate men in a servile 
condition. The unfortunate Helots of Sparta occasionally rose 
in rebellion against their masters, and attempted to gain their 
liberty ; but these efforts were always suppressed with merciless 
slaughter. 

We have, in these and other circumstances, the most conclusive 
evidence that slavery in ancient times existed on no ground of 
philosophy or morals — was not sustained on any fine-spun plea 
that one man was radically inferior to another ; but was, as it is 
still, only a result of rapacity and force. It was long, indeed, 
before mankind could be brought to recognise its iniquity or 
impropriety ; and even yet, certain nations find a difficulty in 
viewing it in its true light. There being thus still some 
controversy on the subject, and liability to misconception, we 
think it proper to state that, according to an enlightened philo- 
sophy, each human being retains inherently the right to his own 
person, and can neither sell himself, nor be legally bound by any 
act of aggression on his natural liberty. " Slavery, therefore, 
can never be a legal relation. It rests entirely on force. The 
slave, being treated as property, and not allowed legal Tights, 
cannot be under legal obligations. Slavery is also inconsistent 
with the moral nature of man. Each man has an individual 
worth, significance, and responsibility ; is bound to the work of 
self-improvement, and to labour in a sphere for which his capa- 
city is adapted. To give up this individual liberty, is to disqua- 
lify himself for fulfilling the great objects of his being. Hence 
political societies, which have made a considerable degree of 
advancement, do not allow any one to resign his liberty, any 
more than his life, to the pleasure of another. In fact, the great 
object of political institutions in civilised nations, is to enable 
man to fulfil, most perfectly, the ends of his individual being. 
Christianity, moreover, which enjoins us, while we remain in 
this world, to regulate our conduct with reference to a better, 
lays down the doctrine of brotherhood and mutual love, of ' doing 
as we would be done by,' as one of its fundamental maxims, 
which is wholly opposed to the idea of one man becoming the 
property of another. These two principles of mutual obligation, 
and the worth of the individual, were beyond the comprehension 

2 



HISTORY OF THE SLAVE TRADE. 

of the states of antiquity, "but are now at the basis of morals, 
politics, and religion. * 

Regardless, or ignorant of such principles, the most enlightened 
nations of antiquity, as we have said, gave the broadest sanction 
to slavery ; and to this, among other causes, was doubtless owing 
their final dismemberment. In ancient Rome, the slaves formed 
a motley population. Some of these unfortunate beings were 
foreigners from far distant countries, others were natives — some 
were less civilised than their masters, others much more so — some 
were employed in tilling their masters' fields, others in teaching 
their masters the sciences — some were working in chains, and 
enduring the lash, others living in comfort, and even petted. Thus 
a rich citizen of Rome, at the commencement of the Christian 
era, would possess slaves of all nations, filling appropriate offices 
in his establishment — dark-haired beauties from the east, and 

f olden-haired beauties from the north ; cooks from the south of 
taly ; learned men and musicians from Greece or Egypt ; menials 
and drudges from the remotest part of Scythia, the interior of 
Africa, or the savage island of Britain. Yes, eighteen centuries 
ago, when Britain was a distant colony of Rome, the unfortunate 
inhabitants of our own dear island, torn from their homes, toiled 
for a Roman master, along with the dark-skinned and more 
pliant native of Ethiopia. 

Out of this promiscuous system of slavery arose the form of 
slavery with which we in modern times are best acquainted — 
Negro slavery. 

ftegroland, or Nigritia, is that part of the interior of Africa 
stretching from the great desert on the north to the unascertained 
commencement of Caftreland on the south, and from the Atlantic 
on the west to Abyssinia on the east. In fact, the entire interior 
of this great continent may be called the land of the negroes. 
The ancients distinguished it from the comparatively civilised 
countries lying along the coasts of the Mediterranean and the 
Red Sea by calling the latter Libya, and the former Ethiopia. 
It is upon Ethiopia in an especial manner that the curse of 
slavery has fallen. At first, as we have already said, it bore but 
a share of the burden ; Britons and Scythians were the fellow- 
slaves of the Ethiopian : but at last all the other nations of the 
earth seemed to conspire against the negro race, agreeing never 
to enslave each other, but to make the blacks the slaves of all 
alike. Thus, this one race of human beings has been singled 
out, whether owing to the accident of colour, or to their peculiar 
fitness for certain kinds of labour, for infamy and misfortune ; 
and the abolition of the practice of promiscuous slavery in the 
modern world was purchased by the introduction of a slavery 
confined entirely to negroes. 

The nations and tribes of negroes in Africa, who thus ulti- 

* Conversations Lexicon. 



HISTORY OF THE SLAVE TRADE. 

mately became the universal prey of Europeans, were them- 
selves equally guilty in subjecting men to perpetual bondage. 
In the most remote times, every Ethiopian man of consequence 
had his slaves, just as a Greek or Roman master had. Savage 
as he was, he at least resembled the citizen of a civilised state 
in this. He possessed his domestic slaves, or bondmen, heredi- 
tary on his property ; and besides these, he was always acquir- 
ing slaves by whatever means he could, whether by purchase 
from slave-dealers, or by war with neighbouring tribes. The 
slaves of a negro master in this case would be his own country- 
men, or at least men of his own race and colour ; some of 
them born on the same spot with himself, some of them cap- 
tives who had been brought from a distance of a thousand 
miles. Of course, the farther a captive was taken from his 
home, the more valuable he would be, as having less chance of 
escape ; and therefore it would be a more common practice to 
sell a slave taken in war with a neighbouring tribe, than to re- 
tain him as a labourer so near his home. And just as in the 
cities of the civilised countries we find the slave population often 
outnumbering the free, so in the villages of the interior of Africa 
the negro slaves were often more numerous than the negro 
masters. Park, in his travels among the negroes, found that in 
many villages the slaves were three times as numerous as the 
free persons ; and it is likely that the proportion was not very dif- 
ferent in more ancient times. Now, the modern form of negro 
slavery has its origin in this system of internal slavery among 
the negroes themselves. If the negroes had not been in the 
practice of making slaves of each other at the time when they 
became known to the Europeans, negro slavery as it now exists 
would not probably have arisen. The negroes being in the habit 
of buying and selling each other, it soon became a custom for 
the negroes living on the southern border of the great desert 
to sell their countrymen to the foreigners with whom they came 
in contact. Thus, in ancient times, the Garamantes used to sell 
negroes to the Libyans ; and so a great proportion of the slaves 
of the Carthaginians and the Egyptians must have been blacks 
brought northwards across the desert. From Carthage and 
Egypt, again, these negroes would be exported into different 
countries of southern Europe ; and a stray negro might even find 
his way into the more northern regions. They seem always to 
have been valued for their patience, their mild temper, and their 
extraordinary power of endurance ; and for many purposes negro 
slaves would be preferred by their Roman masters to all others, 
even to the shaggy, scowling Picts. But though it is quite cer- 
tain that negroes were used as slaves in ancient Europe, still the 
negro never came to enjoy that miserable pre-eminence which 
later times have assigned to him, treating him as the born drudge 
of the human family. White-skinned men were slaves as well 
as he ; and if, among the Carthaginians and Egyptians, negro 



HISTORY OF THE SLAVE TRADE. 

slaves were more common than any other, it was only because 
they were more easily procurable. 

RISE OF THE AFRICAN SLAVE TRADE. 

Although the use of negroes as slaves by the Arabs may be said 
ro have given the first hint of negro slavery to the Europeans, the 
Europeans are quite entitled to the credit of having found it out 
for themselves. The Portuguese were the first to set the example 
of stealing negroes; they were the first to become acquainted with 
Africa. Till the fifteenth century, no part of Africa was known 
except the chain of countries on the coast of the Mediterranean 
and the Red Sea, beginning with Morocco, and ending with 
Abyssinia and the adjoining desert. The Arabs and Moors, 
indeed, traversing the latter, knew something about Ethiopia, 
or the land of the negroes, but what knowledge they had was 
confined to themselves; and to the Europeans the whole of the 
continent to the south of the desert was an unknown and unex- 
plored land. There were traditions of two ancient circumnavi- 
gations of the continent by the Phoenicians and the Carthaginians, 
one down the Red Sea, and round the Cape of Good Hope from 
the east, the other through the Straits of Gibraltar, and round 
the same cape from the west ; but these traditions were vague 
and questionable. They were sufficient, however, to set the 
brains of modern navigators a-working ; and now that they were 
possessed of the mariner's compass, they might hope to repeat 
the Carthaginian feat of circumnavigating Africa ; if, indeed, 
Africa were circumnavigable. In the year 1412, therefore, a 
series of attempts was begun by the Portuguese, at the instiga- 
tion of Prince Henry, to sail southward along the western coast. 
In every succeeding attempt, the bold navigators got farther and 
farther south, past the Canaries, past the Cape Verds, along the 
coast of Guinea, through the Bight of Biafra, down that long 
unnamed extent of coast south of the equator, until at last the 
perseverance of three generations succeeded, and the brave Vasco 
de Gama, in 1497, rounded the great cape itself, turned his prow 
northward, sailed through the Mozambique Channel, and then, 
as if protesting that he had done with Africa all that navigator 
could, steered through the open ocean right for the shores of 
India. The third or fourth of these attempts brought the Por- 
tuguese into contact with the negroes. Before the year 1470, the 
whole of the Guinea coast had been explored. As early as 1 434, 
Antonio Gonzales, a Portuguese captain, landed on this coast, 
and carried away with him some negro boys, whom he sold to 
one or two Moorish families in the south of Spain. The act 
seems to have provoked some criticism at the time. But from 
that day, it became customary for the captains of vessels landing 
on the Gold Coast, or other parts of the coast of Guinea, to carry 
away a few young negroes of both sexes. The labour of these 
negroes, whether on board the ships which carried them away, 



HISTORY OF THE SLAVE TRADE. 

or in the ports to which the ships belonged, being' found valu- 
able, the practice soon grew into a traffic ; and negroes, instead 
of being carried away in twos and threes as curiosities, came to 
form a part of the cargo, as well as gold, ivory, and gum. The 
ships no longer went on voyages of discovery, they went for 
profitable cargoes ; and the inhabitants of the negro villages 
along the coast, delighted with the beads, and knives, and bright 
cloths which they got in exchange for gold, ivory, and slaves, 
took care to have these articles ready for any ship that might 
land. Thus the slave trade, properly so called, began. The 
Spaniards were the first nation to become parties with the Por- 
tuguese in this infamous traffic. 

At first, the deportation of slaves from Africa was conducted 
on a limited scale ; but about seventy years after Gonzales had 
carried away the first negro boys from the Guinea coast, an 
opening was all at once made for negro labour, which made it 
necessary to carry away blacks, not by occasional ship-loads, but 
by thousands annually. 

AFRICAN-AMERICAN SLAVE TRADE. 

America was discovered in 1493. The part of this new world 
which was first colonised by the Spaniards consisted of those 
islands scattered through the great gap of ocean between North 
and South America ; which, as they were thought to be the 
outermost individuals of the great Eastern Indies, to which it 
was the main object of Columbus to effect a western passage, 
were called the West Indies. When the Spaniards took posses- 
sion of these islands, they employed the natives, or Indians, as 
they were called, to do all the heavy kinds of labour for them, 
such as carrying burdens, digging for gold, &c. In fact, these 
Indians became the slaves of their Spanish conquerors; and 
it was customary, in assigning lands to a person, to give him, 
at the same time, all the Indians upon them. Thus, when 
Bernal Diaz paid his respects to Velasquez, the governor of Cuba, 
the governor promised him the first Indians he had at his dis- 
posal. According to all accounts, never was there a race of men 
more averse to labour, or constitutionally more unfit for it, than 
these native Americans. They are described as the most listless 
improvident people on the face of the earth, and though capable 
of much passive endurance, drooped and lost all heart whenever 
they were put to active labour. Labour, ill-usage, and the small- 
pox together, carried them off in thousands, and wherever a 
Spaniard trod, he cleared a space before him, as if he carried a 
blasting influence in his person. When Albuquerque entered 
on his office as governor of St Domingo in 1515, he found that, 
whereas in 1508 the natives numbered 00,000, they did not then 
number 14,000. The condition of these poor aborigines under 
the Spanish colonists became so heart-breaking, that the Domi- 
nican priests stepped out in their behalf, asserting them to be 

6 



HISTORY OF THE SLAVE TRADE. 

free men, and denying" the right of the Spaniards to make them 
slaves. This led to a vehement controversy, which lasted several 
years, and in which Bartholomew de Las Casas, a benevolent 
priest, figured most conspicuously as the friend of the Indians. 
So energetic and persevering was he, that he produced a great 
impression in their favour upon the Spanish government at 
home. 

Unfortunately, the relaxation in favour of one race of men 
was procured at the expense of the slavery of another. Whether 
Las Casas himself was led, by his extreme interest in the 
Indians, to be so inconsistent as to propose the employment of 
negroes in their stead, or whether the suggestion came from 
some other person, does not distinctly appear ; but it is certain, 
that what the Spaniards spared the Indians, they inflicted with 
double rigour upon the negroes. Labourers must be had, and 
the negroes were the kind of labourers that would best suit. 
As early as 1503, a few negroes had been carried across the 
Atlantic; and it was found that not only could each of these 
negroes do as much work as four Indians, but that, while the 
Indians were fast becoming extinct, the negroes were thriving' 
and propagating wonderfully. The plain inference was, that 
they should import negroes as fast as possible ; and this was 
accordingly done. " In the year 1510," says the old Spanish 
historian Herrera, " the king of Spain ordered fifty slaves to 
be sent to Hispaniola to work in the gold mines, the natives 
being looked upon as a weak people, and unfit for much labour." 
And this was but a beginning ; for, notwithstanding the remon- 
strances of Cardinal Ximenes, ship-load after ship-load of negroes 
was carried to the West Indies. We find Charles V. giving one 
of his Flemish favourites an exclusive right of shipping 4000 
negroes to the new world — a monopoly which that favourite 
sold to some Genoese merchants for 25,000 ducats. These mer- 
chants organised the traffic ; many more than 4000 negroes were 
required to do the work ; and though at first the negroes were 
exorbitantly dear, they multiplied so fast, and were imported in 
such quantities, that at last there was a negro for every Spaniard 
in the colonies ; and in whatever new direction the Spaniards ad- 
vanced in their career of conquest, negroes went along with them. 

The following extract from the Spanish historian already 
quoted will show not only that the negroes were very nume- 
rous, but that sometimes also they proved refractory, and endea- 
voured to get the upper hand of their masters. "There was 
so great a number of blacks in the governments of Santa Marta 
and Venezuela, and so little precaution was used in the manage- 
ment of them, or rather the liberty they had was so great, 
being allowed the use of arms, which they much delight in, 
that, prompted bj r their natural fierceness and arrogance, a small 
number of the most polished, who valued themselves for their 
valour and gaiety, resolved to rescue themselves from servitude, 

7 



HISTORY OP THE SLAVE TRADE. 

and become their own masters, believing- that they might live 
at their own will among" the Indians. Those few summoning- 
others, who, like a thoughtless brutish people, were not capable 
of making" any reflection, but were always ready at the beck 
of those of their own colour for whom they had any respect 
or esteem, they readily complied ; assembling" to the number of 
about 250, and repairing- to the settlement of New Seg"Ovia, they 
divided themselves into companies, and appointed captains, and 
saluted one King", who had the most boldness and resolution, 
to assume that title ; and he, intimating- that they should all 
be rich, and lords of the country, by destroying" the Spaniards, 
assigned every one the Spanish woman that should fall to his lot, 
with other such insolent projects and machinations. The fame 
of this commotion was soon spread abroad throughout all the 
cities of those two g-overnments, where preparations were speedily 
made for marching 1 ag'ainst the blacks, as well to prevent their 
being joined by the rest of their countrymen that were not yet 
gone to them, as to obviate the many mischiefs which those 
barbarians might occasion to the country. In the meantime, the 
inhabitants of Tucuyo sent succours to tUI city of Segovia, which 
was but newly founded ; and the very night that relief arrived 
there, the blacks, who had got intelligence of it, resolved to be 
beforehand with the Spaniards; and in order that, greater forces 
thus coming in, they might not grow too strong for them, they 
fell upon those Spaniards, killing five or six of them, and a clergy- 
man. However, the success did not answer their expectation, 
for the Spaniards being on their guard, readily took the alarm, 
fought the blacks courageously, and killed a considerable number. 
The rest, perceiving that their contrivance had miscarried, retired. 
The next morning Captain James de Lassado arrived there with 
forty men from the government of Venezuela, and, judging that 
no time ought to be lost in that affair, marched against the blacks 
with the men he had brought, and those who were before at New 
Segovia. Perceiving that they had quitted the post they had 
first taken, and were retired to a strong place, on the mountain, 
he pursued, overtook, and attacked them ; and though they drew 
up and stood on their defence, he soon routed and put them all 
to the sword, sparing none but. their women and some female 
Indians they had with them, after which he returned to Segovia, 
and those provinces were delivered from much uneasiness." 

The Spaniards did not long remain alone in the guilt of this 
new traffic. At first the Spaniards had all America to them- 
selves ; and as it was in America that negro labour was in de- 
mand, the Spaniards alone possessed large numbers of negroes. 
But other nations came to have colonies in America, and as 
negroes were found invaluable in the foundation of a new colony, 
other nations came also to patronise the slave trade. The first 
recognition of the trade by the English government was in 1562, 
in the reign of Elizabeth, when an act was passed legalising the 

8 



HISTORY OF THE SLAVE TRADE. 

purchase of negroes ; yet, as the earlier attempts made by the 
English to plant colonics in North America were unsuccessful, 
there did not, for some time after the passing* of this act, exist anv 
demand for negroes sufficient to induce the owners of English 
trading* vessels visiting* the coast of Africa to make negroes a 
part of their cargo. It was in the year 1G1G that the tirst 
negroes were imported into Virginia ; and even then it was not 
an English slave-ship which supplied them, but a Dutch one, 
which chanced to touch on the coast with some negroes on board 
bound for the Spanish colonies. These negroes the Virginian 
planters purchased on trial ; and the bargain was found to be so 

food, that in a short time negroes came to be in great demand in 
irginia. Nor were the planters any longer indebted to the 
chance visits of Dutch ships for a supply of negro-labourers ; for 
the English merchants, vigilant and calculating then as they 
are now, immediately embarked in the traffic, and instructed the 
captains of their vessels visiting the African coast to barter for 
negroes as well as wax and elephants' teeth. In a similar way 
the French, the Dutch, and all other nations of any commercial 
importance, came to be involved in the traffic; those who had 
colonies, to supply the demand there ; those whp had no colonies, 
to make money by assisting to supply the demand of the colonies 
of other countries. Before the middle of the seventeenth century 
the African slave trade was in full vigour; and all Europe was 
implicated in the buying and selling of negroes. 

SLAVE FACTORIES IN AFRICA. 

So universal is the instinct for barter, that the immediate 
effect of the new and g*reat demand for slaves was to create 
its own supply. Slavery, as we have said, existed in Negro- 
land from time immemorial, but on a comparatively limited 
scale. The effect of the demand by the European ships gave 
an unhappy stimulus to the natural animosities of the various 
negro tribes skirting the west coast ; and, tempted by the 
clasp - knives, and looking - glasses, and wonderful red cloth, 
which the white men always brought with them to exchange 
for slaves, the whole negro population for many miles inland 
began fighting and kidnapping each other. Not only so, but 
the interior of the continent itself, the district of Lake Tchad, 
and the mystic source of the fatal Niger, hitherto untrodden 
by the foot of a white invader, began to feel the tremor 
caused by the traffic on the coast ; and ere long, the very 
negroes who seemed safest in their central obscurities, were 
drained away to meet the increasing demand ; either led cap- 
tive by warlike visitants from the west, or handed from tribe 
to tribe till they reached the sea. In this way, eventually, Cen- 
tral Africa, with its teeming myriads of negroes, came to be 
the great mother of slaves for exportation, and the negro vil- 
lages on the coast the warehouses, as it were, where the slaves 

M . 9 



HISTORY OF THE SLAVE TRADE. 

were stowed away till the ships of the white men arrived to 
carry them off. 

European skill and foresight assisted in giving constancy and 
regularity to the supply of negroes from the interior. At first 
the slave vessels only visited the Guinea coast, and bargained 
with the negroes of the villages there for what quantity of 
wax, or gold, or negroes they had to give. But this was a 
clumsy way of conducting business. The ships had to sail 
along a large tract of coast, picking up a few negroes at one 
place, and a little ivory or gold at another ; sometimes even the 
natives of a village might have no elephants' teeth and no 
negroes to give ; and even under the most favourable circum- 
stances, it took a considerable time to procure a decent cargo. 
No coast is so pestilential as that of Africa, and hence the 
service was very repulsive and very dangerous. As an im- 
provement on this method of trading, the plan was adopted 
very early of planting small settlements of Europeans at in- 
tervals along the slave-coast, whose business it should be to 
negotiate with the negroes, stimulate them to activity in their 
slave-hunting expeditions, purchase the slaves brought in, and 
warehouse them until the arrival of the ships. These settlements 
were called slave factories. Factories of this kind were planted 
all along the western coast from Cape Verd to the equator, by 
English, French, Dutch, and Portuguese traders. Their appear- 
ance, the character of the men employed in them, their internal 
arrangements, and their mode of carrying on the traffic, are well 
described in the following extract from Mr Howison's book on 
u European Colonies." 

" As soon as the parties concerned had fixed upon the site of 
their proposed commercial establishment, they began to erect a 
fort of greater or less mag-nitude, having previously obtained 
permission to that effect from the natives. The most convenient 
situation for a building of the kind was considered to be at the 
confluence of a river with the sea, or upon an island lying within 
a few miles of the coast. In the first case, there was the advan- 
tage of inland navigation ; and in the second, that of the security 
and defensibleness of an insular position, besides its being more 
cool and healthy than any other. 

The walls of the fort always enclosed a considerable space of 
ground, upon which were built the necessary magazines ibr the 
reception of merchandise, and also barracks for the soldiers and 
artificers, and a depot for slaves ; so that, in the event of external 
hostilities, the gates might be shut, and the persons and the 
property belonging to the establishment placed in security. The 
quarters for the officers and agents employed at the factory were 
in general erected upon the ramparts, or at least adjoining them ; 
while the negroes in their service, and any others that might be 
attracted to the spot, placed their huts outside of the walls of the 
fort, but under the protection of its guns. 
10 



HISTORY OF THE SLAVE TRADE. 

The command of the establishment was vested in the hands 
of one individual, who had various subordinates, according 1 to 
the extent of the trade carried on at the place ; and if the troops 
who garrisoned the fort exceeded twenty or thirty, a com- 
missioned officer usually had charge of them. The most remark- 
able forts were St George del Mina, erected by the Portuguese, 
though it subsequently fell into the hands of the Dutch ; Cape 
Coast Castle, the principal establishment of the English; Fort 
Louis, at the mouth of the Senegal, generally occupied by the 
French ; and Goree, situated upon an island of the same name, 
near Cape Verd. Most of these forts mounted from fifty to 
sixty pieces of cannon, and contained large reservoirs for water, 
and were not only impregnable to the negroes, but capable of 
standing- a regular siege by a European force. 

The individuals next in importance to the director or gover- 
nor were the factors, who ranked according" to their standing 1 in 
the company's service. The seniors generally remained at head- 
quarters, and had the immediate management of the trade there, 
and the care of the supplies of European merchandise which 
were always kept in store. The junior factors were employed in 
carrying 1 on the traffic in the interior of the country, which they 
did sometimes by ascending the rivers in armed vessels, and 
exchanging- various articles lor slaves, gold-dust, and ivory, with 
the negroes inhabiting the neighbourhood ; and sometimes by 
establishing 1 themselves for several months in a large town or 
populous district, and, as it were, keeping 1 a shop to which the 
natives might resort for traffic. 

The European subordinates of the establishment consisted of 
clerks, book-keepers, warehousemen, artificers, mechanics, gun- 
ners, and private soldiers, all of whom had particular quarters 
assigned for their abode, and lived under military discipline. 
The soldiers employed in the service of the different African com- 
panies were mostly invalids, and persons who had been dismissed 
from the army on account of bad conduct. Destitute of the means 
of subsistence at home, such men willingly engaged to go to the 
coast of Africa, where they knew that they would be permitted 
to lead a life of ease, indolence, and licentiousness, and be exposed 
to no danger except that of a deadly climate, which was in 
reality the most certain and inevitable one that they could any- 
where encounter. Few of the troops in any of the forts were fit 
for active duty, which was of the less consequence, because they 
were seldom or never required to fight except upon the ramparts 
of the place in which they might be quartered, and not often 
even there. Hence they spent their time in smoking, in drinking 
palm wine, and in gaming, and were generally carried off by 
fever or dissipation within two years after their arrival in the 
country. A stranger on first visiting any of the African forts, 
felt that there was something both horrible and ludicrous in the 
appearance of its garrison; for the individuals composing it 

11 



HISTORY OF THE SLAVE TRADE. 

appeared ghastly, debilitated, and diseased, to a degree that is 
unknown in other climates ; and their tattered and soiled uni- 
forms, resembling* each other only in meanness, and not in colour, 
suggested the idea of the wearers being a band of drunken 
deserters, or of starved and maltreated prisoners of war. 

Each company was in the practice of annually sending" a cer- 
tain number of ships to its respective establishments, freighted 
with European goods suitable for traffic ; while its factors in 
Africa had in the meantime been collecting' slaves, ivory, gum- 
arabic, and other productions tf the country ; so that the vessels 
on their arrival suffered no detention, but always found a return 
car^-o ready for them. 

Though the forts were principally employed as places of safe 
deposit for merchandise received, from Europe, or collected at 
outposts, they were also generally the scene of a considerable 
trade, being resorted to for that purpose not only by the coast 
negroes, but often also by dealers from the interior of the country, 
who would bring slaves, ivory, and gold-dust for traffic. Persons 
of this description were always honourably, and even ceremoni- 
ously received by the governor or by the factors, and conciliated 
in every possible way, lest they might carry their goods to 
another market. They were invited to enter the fort, and were 
treated with liqueurs, sweetmeats, and presents, and urged to 
drink freely ; and no sooner did they show symptoms of con- 
fusion of ideas, than the factors proposed to trade with them ? 
and displayed the articles which they were disposed to give in 
exchange for their slaves, &c. The unsuspicious negro -mer- 
chant, dazzled by the variety of tempting objects placed before 
him, and exhilarated by wine or brandy, was easily led to con- 
clude a bargain little advantageous to himself; and before he 
had fully recovered his senses, his slaves, ivory, and gold-dust 
were transferred to the stores of the factory, and he was obliged 
to be contented with what he had in his moments of inebriety 
agreed to accept in exchange for them." 

From this extract, it appears that not only did the managers of 
these factories receive all the negroes who might be brought 
down to the coast, but that emissaries, "junior factors," as 
they were called, penetrated into the interior, as if thoroughly 
to infect the central tribes with the spirit of commerce. The 
result of this was the creation of large slave-markets in the in- 
terior, where the negro slaves were collected for sale, and where 
slave-merchants, whether negro, Arabic, or European, met to con- 
clude their wholesale bargains. One of these great slave-markets 
was at Timbuctoo ; but for the most part the slaves were brought 
down in droves by Slatees, or negro slave-merchants, to the 
European factories on the coast. At the time that Park travelled 
in Africa, so completely had the negroes of the interior become 
possessed with the trading spirit, so much had the capture and 
abduction of negroes grown into a profession, that these native 
12 



HISTORY OF THE SLAVE TRADE. 

slave-merchants were observed to treat the slaves they were 
driving 1 to the coast with considerable kindness. The negroes 
were, indeed, chained together to prevent their escape. Those 
who were refractory had a thick billet of wood fastened to their 
ankle ; and as the poor wretches quitting their native spots be- 
came sullen and moody, their limbs at the same time swelling 
and breaking out in sores with the fatigue of travelling, it was 
often necessary to apply the whip. Still, the Slatees were not 
wantonly cruel ; and there was nothing they liked better than to 
see their slaves merry. Occasionally they would halt in their 
march, and encourage the negroes to sing their snatches of song, 
or pla3 r their games of hazard, or dance under the shade of the 
tamarind tree. This, however, was only the case with the pro- 
fessional slave-driver, who was commissioned to convey the 
negroes to the coast ; and if we wish to form a conception of the 
extent and intricate working of the curse inflicted upon the 
negroes by their contact with white men, we must set ourselves 
to imagine all the previous kidnapping and fighting which must 
have been necessary to procure every one of thes